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AMY  VANDERBILTS  COMPLETE  BOOK  OF  ETIQUETTE 


DRAWINGS   BY   FRED   MCCARROLL,    MARY   SUZUKI   AND   ANDREW  WARHOL 
DOUBLEDAY   &   COMPANY,   INC.,   GARDEN   CITY,   N.Y.    1957 


AMY 

VANDERBILTS 

COMPLETE 

BOOK  OF 

ETIQUETTE 


A  Guide  to  Gracious  Living 


To  Dr.  Edwin  George  Langrock,  wise  counselor  and  kind  friend 


As  this  is  an  etiquette  book  for  all  Americans,  I 
have  for  the  sake  of  interest  used  a  wide  variety 
of  names.  If  any  of  these  happen  to  belong  to 
real  people,  living  or  dead,  it  is  sheer  coincidence. 

A.  V. 

DRAWINGS   ON   HOW   TO   MAKE   A  BED  COURTESY   AMERICAN  NATIONAL  RED  CROSS 

TABLE  SETTING  INFORMATION  FROM  MEMBERS  BOOK  COURTESY  OF  ROYAL  CREST  STERLING 

DRAWINGS    ON    HOW   TO   EAT   A   MAINE   LOBSTER   COURTESY   OF 

THE   MAINE   DEVELOPMENT   COMMISSION 

LD3RARY    OF    CONGRESS    CATALOG    CARD    NUMBER    56-IOO97 

COPYRIGHT   ©,  1952,    1954,    1955,    1956,   BY   AMY   VANDERBILT 

ALL   RIGHTS   RESERVED.    PRINTED   IN   THE   UNITED   STATES 


Designed  by  Diana  Klemin 


INTRODUCTION 


Who  needs  a  book  of  etiquette?  Everyone  does.  The  simplest  family,  if  it 
hopes  to  move  just  a  little  into  a  wider  world,  needs  to  know  at  least  the 
elementary  rules.  Even  the  most  sophisticated  man  or  woman  used  to  a  great 
variety  of  social  demands  cannot  hope  to  remember  every  single  aspect  of 
etiquette  applying  to  even  one  possible  social  contingency.  The  human 
mind  is  so  constructed  that  even  if  a  person  were  to  read  through  a  book 
such  as  this  from  cover  to  cover  he  could  retain  only  that  information  that 
had  interest  for  him  at  the  time  of  reading.  Consciously,  at  least,  the  rest 
would  be  discarded  as  irrelevant  to  his  way  of  life.  But  let  some  new  way  of 
living  open  up  for  him— a  move  from  city  to  country,  a  trip  to  a  new  part  of 
the  world— and  his  etiquette  book  becomes  his  reference  book,  ready  to 
piece  out  his  own  store  of  information. 

You  might  imagine  that  the  writer  of  an  etiquette  book  would  certainly 
know  everything  in  it  and  therefore  have  no  need  for  it  as  reference  or 
guide.  But  even  this  is  not  the  case.  After  ten  years  as  an  etiquette  adviser, 
four  years  of  writing  this  book— four  years  of  interviewing  dozens  of  authori- 
ties in  their  own  fields  for  material  to  be  incorporated  here— I,  too,  can  re- 
member only  those  details  that  have  or  have  had  relevance  to  my  own  way 
of  living.  If  you  asked  me,  for  example,  some  detail  of  a  wedding  in  a  faith 
other  than  my  own,  I  might  have  to  refer  to  my  own  book.  The  information 
is  here— the  result  of  my  research— but  in  the  writing  of  such  sections  I  made 
no  attempt  to  memorize  all  these  details.  However,  in  this  book,  I,  like  you, 
have  such  information  in  simple,  complete  form  all  in  one  place,  and  it  can 
be  readily  found  if  needed. 

The  word  "etiquette"  for  all  the  things  I  have  tried  to  discuss  is  really  in, 
adequate,  yet  no  other  will  do.  It  covers  much  more  than  "manners,"  the 
way  in  which  we  do  things.  It  is  considerably  more  than  a  treatise  on  a  code 
of  social  behavior,  although  all  the  traditional  information  still  of  value  has, 
I  feel,  been  included  in  a  way  that  is  simple  and  concise,  shorn  of  mumbo- 
jumbo  and  clearly  learnable.  For  we  must  all  learn  the  socially  acceptable 
ways  of  living  with  others  in  no  matter  what  society  we  move.  Even  in 
primitive  societies  there  are  such  rules,  some  of  them  as  complex  and  inex- 
plicable as  many  of  our  own.  Their  original  raison  &&tre  or  purpose  is  lost, 
but  their  acceptance  is  still  unquestioned. 


Change  in  etiquette  usually  conies  slowly,  just  as  changes  come  slowly  in 
the  dictionary.  The  analogy  applies,  too,  in  that  it  is  not  necessarily  social 
leaders  who  bring  about  such  changes,  but  rather  the  people  themselves 
who,  through  slighting  certain  forms  for  a  long  enough  period,  finally  bring 
about  their  abolishment  or  at  least  their  modification. 

Inventions,  wars,  political  upheavals,  legislation,  all,  of  course,  have  reper- 
cussions, sometimes  immediate,  in  the  field  of  etiquette.  In  certain  Moslem 
countries  purdah,  the  centuries-old  veiling  of  women  in  public,  was  abol- 
ished by  law  overnight.  Think  of  the  social  adjustment  that  was  required! 
What  had  been  rigorous  social  custom  now  became  illegal. 

Etiquette,  too,  is  obviously  geographically  influenced.  In  cities  thousands 
of  families  live  under  one  roof,  yet  most  never  speak  to  one  another  on 
meeting.  In  the  country  not  to  speak  to  one's  neighbor  on  encountering  him 
would  be  very  rude.  In  some  parts  of  the  South  girls  are  quite  accustomed  to 
young  men  asking  for  late  dates,  a  date— usually  with  an  old  beau— following 
one  that  may  end  at  about  eleven.  Elsewhere  such  behavior  might  be  con- 
sidered questionable. 

In  young  countries— and  ours  is  certainly  one  when  you  think  in  terms  of 
Paris's  two  thousand  years— etiquette  books  have  an  important  place.  The 
physical  and  economic  changes  the  country  undergoes  inevitably  bring  about 
fairly  rapid  social  changes.  The  people  who  first  come  to  virgin  country 
usually  arrive  as  workers,  for  every  hand  is  needed,  living  facilities  are  at  a 
premium,  and  there  is  little  if  any  of  the  leisure  or  money  necessary  for  the 
immediate  development  of  an  aristocracy.  That  is  why  all  old  American 
families  such  as  mine  have  strong  and  simple  roots  here.  Some  of  them  may 
have  brought  with  them  the  drawing-room  manners  of  older  civilizations, 
but  they  found  that  many  of  the  niceties  of  living  required  adaptation— or 
else  had  to  be  discarded— in  this  vigorous,  busy  young  land. 

My  great-great-grandfather,  who  "read  law,"  was  one  of  the  founders  of 
the  Bank  of  Manhattan  Company  and  a  man  of  parts,  as  they  used  to  say  in 
those  days.  But  in  the  tradition  of  his  father  and  grandfather,  Hollanders 
both,  he  was  manually  proficient  and  he  had  a  proper  respect  for  whatever 
work  he  did.  He  seems  to  have  owned  a  number  of  "shoe  manufactories," 
and  I  do  not  doubt  that  he  could  apply  a  sole  with  the  same  expertness  that 
he  used  in  some  of  the  fine  mahogany  furniture  he  made  for  his  family  and 
which  I  still  use.  On  the  facing  page  is  his  advertisement  in  the  Diary;  or 
Evening  Register  of  Wednesday,  April  9,  1794. 

My  own  line  of  descent  from  the  first  Vanderbilt  to  settle  in  America— Jan 
Aoertsen  van  der  Bilt,  who  had  a  farm  near  Flatbush,  Long  Island— has 
been  strongly  Dutch,  but  I  have  a  good  admixture  of  Irish,  English,  and 
French  blood.  That  and  my  partly  European  education,  my  fairly  extensive 
traveling  here  and  abroad,  my  years  as  a  writer,  as  an  etiquette  adviser,  and 
in  business  have  given  me  a  flexible  attitude  toward  etiquette  which  is  re- 
flected, I  am  sure,  in  everything  I  have  written  on  the  subject. 

I  have  a  respect  for  people  who  do  things  with  their  brains  and  with  their 
hands,  who  are  not  afraid  of  hard  physical  and  mental  work.  I  respect,  too, 


WEDNESDAY,  Apaa  9,    1794. 


OLIVER  VANDERBILT, 


At  his  Boot  and  Shoe  Manufactory  No.  7,  the  cor- 
ner of  Smith  and  Princefs-Streets, 

TAKES  this  method,  to  return  his 
thanks  to  his  cuftomers,  for  their  generous 
encouragement  in  the  line  of  his  bufinefs,  and  hopes 
by  his  fteady  attention  and  abilities  to  ferve,  to  me- 
rit the  fame.  He  has  lately  discovered  a  method, 
which  effectually  prevents  the  prevailing  evils  fo 
common  in  the  prefent  mode  of  making  boots 
which  are  thefe,  the  folding  or  running  down  be- 
hind and  breaking  above  the  counter  and  in  the 
tongue,  which  frequently  caufes  almoft  new  boots 
not  only  to  look  bad,  by  caufing  pieces  to  be  put  in 
them,  but  by  running  down  wears  very  uncomfort- 
ably He  continues  to  make,  and  has  for  fale,  the 
following  articles,  wholefale  and  retail,  viz. 

£.  x.  d. 
Fimfhed  boots  of  Englifh  fluff  -  •  300 
Do.  tanned,  brain  and  oil  drefled  buck  ikin 

legs  .  -  -  .  .  -300 
Do.  American  calf  fkin,  or  cordiwan  legs  z  16  o 
Second  quality  do.  do.        -do.    2  to    o 

Stout  frrongboot* .  .         •      2    4     o 

Bootees  of  Englifh  legs  •  •       2    5     o 

Do.  of  American  do  •  •         1  18    o 

people  who  are  unpretentious  yet  mannerly,  considerate  and  honest,  forth- 
right yet  kind  and  tactful.  I  dislike  display  and  foolish  expenditure  in  the 
sense  of  what  Veblen  called  "conspicuous  waste,"  that  is,  spending  to  im- 
press those  who  have  less,  as  well  as  to  impress  associates.  I  dislike  chi-chi. 
I  believe  that  knowledge  of  the  rules  of  living  in  our  society  makes  us 
more  comfortable  even  though  our  particular  circumstances  may  permit  us 
to  elide  them  somewhat.  Some  of  the  rudest  and  most  objectionable  people 
I  have  ever  known  have  been  technically  the  most  "correct."  Some  of  the 
warmest,  most  lovable,  have  had  little  more  than  an  innate  feeling  of  what 
is  right  toward  others.  But,  at  the  same  time,  they  have  had  the  intelligence 
to  inform  themselves,  as  necessary,  on  the  rules  of  social  intercourse  as  re- 
lated to  their  own  experiences.  Only  a  great  fool  or  a  great  genius  is  likely 
to  flout  all  social  grace  with  impunity,  and  neither  one,  doing  so,  makes  the 
most  comfortable  companion. 


It  is  my  hope  that  this  book  answers  as  fully  and  simply  as  possible  all  the 
major  questions  of  etiquette  and  most  of  the  minor  ones  too.  It  is  the  largest 
and  most  complete  book  of  etiquette  ever  written.  Like  a  dictionary,  it  will 
have  few  cover-to-cover  readers  aside  from  my  meticulous  editor,  Marion 
Patton,  the  copy  editors,  and  the  proofreaders.  But  this  undoubted  fact  does 
not  in  the  least  disturb  me,  for  a  reference  book  such  as  this  has  a  long  and 
much-thumbed  existence.  It  can  become  a  reliable  friend  to  whom  one  may 
turn  many  a  questioning  glance  over  the  years  and  get  a  helpful  answer.  It 
can  put  down  roots  and  become  an  integral  part  of  the  family,  even  be  an 
objective  counselor  to  the  children  as  they  enter  their  teens. 

It  is  axiomatic  that  as  we  mature  and  grow  in  years  and  experience  we 
must  be  able  to  meet  more  demanding  social  situations  with  confidence  and 
ease.  This  book  contains,  I  believe,  explicit  information  on  every  possible 
social  problem  one  is  likely  to  encounter  in  modern  social  living. 

Amy  Vanderbilt 

WESTPORT,    CONNECTICUT 

1952 


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 


Over  a  period  of  four  years,  during  the  writing  of  this  book,  many  personal 
friends  have  assisted  me  in  my  research.  Parts  of  the  manuscript  traveled 
back  and  forth  across  the  ocean  several  times.  Experts  of  various  kinds  ad- 
vised me  and  in  numerous  cases  edited  my  material.  I  have  sought  every 
possible  authoritative  source  in  an  effort  to  make  this  a  truly  complete  and 
accurate  book  of  etiquette,  useful  in  every  phase  of  contemporary  life. 

Among  those  individuals,  organizations,  institutions,  and  governments 
whose  assistance  I  have  had  to  a  greater  or  lesser  extent  are:  Eleanor  Roose- 
velt; the  United  States  Department  of  State;  the  United  States  Military 
Academy,  West  Point;  the  United  States  Naval  Academy,  Annapolis;  the 
Department  of  Defense;  Captain  J.  F.  Donovan,  Jr.,  U.S.N.  Ret.;  Head- 
quarters First  Army;  Captain  Joseph  W.  Golinkin,  U.S.N.R.;  Colonel  Henry 
T.  Blair,  U.S.A.R.;  the  British  Information  Services;  the  French  Embassy; 
the  Netherlands  Embassy;  the  Hon.  E.  C.  Zimmerman,  former  Netherlands 
Minister  to  the  Netherlands  Indies;  Mr.  Onno  Leebaert  of  the  Netherlands 
National  Tourist  Office;  the  Mexican  Embassy;  Dr.  Carlos  Davila,  former 
President  of  and  Ambassador  from  Chile,  member  of  the  Social  and  Eco- 
nomic Council  of  the  United  Nations,  and  author  of  We  the  Americas; 
Mr.  Harold  P.  Borer,  General  Manager  in  the  United  States  for  Cunard 
Steamship  Company,  Limited;  the  Pan  American  World  Airways;  M. 
Maurice  Dekobra,  Paris;  Mr.  Ulrich  Calvosa,  Spanish  State  Tourist  Bureau; 
the  Metropolitan  Opera  Association;  the  University  of  the  State  of  New 
York;  Professor  Gilbert  H.  Doane,  Director  of  Libraries,  University  of  Wis- 
consin, and  author  of  the  book  on  genealogy,  Searching  for  Your  Ancestors; 
Mr.  Donald  C.  Vaughan,  who  while  an  executive  of  Brooks  Brothers  fur- 
nished me  with  much  of  the  material  on  men's  clothes  and  later,  after  his 
retirement,  edited  the  chapter  for  me;  various  members  of  the  Overseas  Press 
Club,  including  Mr.  Frank  Handy,  Mr.  Thomas  B.  Morgan,  Mr.  Edward  P. 
Morgan,  Mr.  J.  P.  McEvoy,  and  Mr.  Eugene  Lyons;  Senhor  Vasco  Pinto  Basto 
of  Lisbon,  Portugal;  Mr.  I.  P.  Van  Dyke  of  the  Hotel  Astor;  Mr.  Edward  F. 
McSweeney;  Sidonie  M.  Gruenberg,  Special  Consultant  for  the  Child  Study 
Association  of  America;  Mr.  T.  Spencer  Knight,  President,  Empire  Crafts 
Corporation,  Newark,  New  York;  Mr.  Homer  N.  Calver,  President,  Paper 
Cup  &  Container  Corp.,  New  York;  the  late  Mr.  Alexander  Efron,  founder  of 


Checkmaster  System,  Inc.,  New  York;  Mr.  Roger  Main,  President  and 
Treasurer,  West  Side  Savings  Bank,  New  York;  Mr.  Harland  Torrey,  West- 
port  Bank  and  Trust  Company,  Westport,  Conn.;  B.  Harris  and  Sons,  New 
York,  jewelers;  Carrier,  Inc.,  New  York;  Tiffany  &  Co.,  New  York;  Aber- 
crombie  &  Fitch  Co.,  New  York;  Steuben  Glass,  New  York;  Dempsey  & 
Carroll,  Inc.,  New  York;  Max  Schling,  Inc.,  New  York;  John  M.  Weyer, 
President,  Van  Loan  &  Co.,  New  York;  Bellows'  Gourmet's  Bazaar,  New 
York;  Countess  Gosta  Morner;  the  Maine  Development  Commission;  and  the 
following  attorneys  for  their  help  with  material  touching  on  or  concerning 
legal  matters:  Norman  Schur,  Gustave  Simons,  Philip  Wittenberg,  Edna 
Neumann  Whittle,  and  the  Honorable  J.  Allen  O'Connor,  Jr. 

I  am  indebted  to  Dr.  Richard  L.  Frank,  Clinical  Professor  of  Psychiatry 
and  Psychoanalytic  Medicine  at  State  University  College  of  Medicine  at 
New  York,  for  his  help,  advice,  and  editorial  suggestions  especially  concern- 
ing the  chapters  on  children  and  family  life;  also  to  Dr.  Herbert  F.  Newman, 
Associate  Professor  of  Clinical  Surgery,  New  York  University  School  of 
Medicine;  Vincent  M.  Keber,  D.D.S.,  New  York,  and  the  American  Nurses 
Association. 

Mr.  Lawton  Mackall,  expert  on  wines,  assisted  me  to  a  great  extent  in  the 
preparation  of  the  chapter  on  wines. 

The  Reverend  W.  Ovid  Kinsolving,  Priest-in-Charge,  St.  Andrew's  and  St. 
Michael's  Episcopal  churches,  Bridgeport,  Conn.,  was  of  immeasurable  aid 
in  the  preparation  of  the  material  on  weddings,  christenings,  funerals,  reli- 
gious beliefs  and  the  proper  address  of  the  clergy.  The  Reverend  Edward  N. 
West,  D.D.,  Canon  Sacrist  of  the  Cathedral  of  St.  John  the  Divine,  New 
York,  prepared  the  material  on  the  correct  forms  of  address  of  the  Protestant 
Episcopal  clergy,  and  the  Reverend  George  Papadeas  of  the  Hellenic 
Cathedral,  Holy  Trinity,  New  York,  assisted  me  with  information  on  the 
Greek  Catholics.  Princess  Serge  Troubetzkoy  and  Mrs.  David  H.  Low  were 
of  help  in  giving  me  information  on  Eastern  Orthodox  religious  customs. 
Rabbi  Samuel  Schwartz  of  Congregation  Beth  El,  Norwalk,  Conn.,  Rabbi 
Martin  Ryback,  Washington  Avenue  Temple,  Evansville,  Ind.,  and  Rabbi 
Philip  Alstat  of  the  Jewish  Theological  Seminary,  New  York,  assisted  me  in 
the  matter  of  Jewish  customs  and  clerical  forms  of  address.  The  Presiding 
Bishop,  Le  Grand  Richards,  of  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of  Latter  Day 
Saints,  Salt  Lake  City,  Utah,  supplied  information  on  the  Mormons.  P.  J. 
Kenedy  Sons,  publishers  of  the  official  Catholic  Directory,  supplied  all  the 
material  on  the  proper  forms  of  address  for  the  Catholic  clergy,  and  I  had 
the  assistance  of  Catholic  friends  and  two  Catholic  priests  on  Catholic 
marriage,  christening,  and  funeral  customs.  I  am  indebted  to  the  Society  of 
Friends  for  information  on  Quaker  ceremonies  and  customs.  The  Christian 
Science  Committee  on  Publication  for  Connecticut  checked  the  references  to 
Christian  Science.  Mr.  F.  D.  Connell,  Sexton  of  St.  Thomas  Church,  New 
York,  gave  me  information  on  Protestant  Episcopal  church  ceremonies.  The 
Reverend  Harold  Edgar  Martin  of  the  First  Congregational  Church,  Nor- 
walk, Conn.,  the  Reverend  E.  C.  Wenzel,  of  St.  Peter's  Evangelical  Lutheran 


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

Church,  South  Norwalk,  the  Reverend  W.  Wesley  Williams  of  Norwalk 
Methodist  Church,  Norwalk,  the  Reverend  J.  P.  Ball  of  Grace  Baptist 
Church,  Norwalk,  and  the  Reverend  Dr.  Floyd  Leach,  retired  Episcopal 
minister  of  Rowayton,  Conn.,  were  among  those  clergymen  who  assisted  me 
with  information  on  their  own  and  other  denominations. 

Miss  Alice  Maslin  (Nancy  Craig)  of  the  American  Broadcasting  Company 
and  Mr.  Ben  Grauer  of  the  National  Broadcasting  Company  furnished  much 
of  the  material  I  have  used  on  radio  and  television.  Elizabeth  Verner  of 
Charleston,  S.C.,  Miss  Dorothy  Valentine  Smith  of  Staten  Island,  Mr.  A. 
Rush  Watkins  of  Chicago,  the  late  Mrs.  George  Washington  Kavanaugh  of 
New  York,  Mr.  Paul  T.  Truitt  of  Washington,  D.C.,  Mrs.  Maurice  Metcalf  of 
New  Orleans,  La.,  Mr.  Robert  Taylor  of  the  Pittsburgh  Press,  Miss  Peter 
Carter  of  the  Washington  Times-Herald,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Max  Blitzer,  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Basil  Lermont,  and  Helen  Pemberton  Jones  of  New  York;  Miss  Dorothy 
Garrard  of  Los  Angeles;  Morgan  Adams  of  Pasadena  for  information  on 
skiing;  Mr.  and  Mrs.  R.  L.  Moonan,  Mr.  D.  Leonard  Cohen,  Mrs.  John 
Kobler,  and  Mr.  Howard  Whitman  of  Westport,  Conn.,  are  among  the 
friends  who  have  given  me  information  on  local  or  foreign  customs,  Wash- 
ington diplomatic,  social,  and  legislative  procedures,  and  other  matters  per- 
taining to  the  content  of  the  book.  I  wish  to  acknowledge,  too,  the  co- 
operation of  the  editors  of  This  Week  and  Better  Homes  and  Gardens  on 
material  relating  to  the  book. 

My  friend,  Virginia  Fortiner,  was  of  inestimable  help  in  reading  the 
manuscript  and  making  suggestions  for  its  improvement. 

Special  thanks  go  to  my  secretary,  Miss  Marie  Ritti,  for  expert  typing  of 
more  than  a  quarter  of  a  million  words  and  to  Miss  Helen  Walsh  for  her 
help,  too,  especially  in  the  handling  of  my  considerable  correspondence. 


INTRODUCTION 


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 


1 


THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

INTRODUCTION      26 

CHAPTER    ONE      WEDDING  INVITATIONS   AND   ANNOUNCEMENTS      If 

Making  Up  the  Invitation  List  •  When  to  Send  Invitations  and  Announce- 
ments •  Choosing  the  Time  of  the  Wedding  •  Stationery  and  Engraving 
How  to  Address  Envelopes  •  Wording  of  Formal  Invitations  and  Announce- 
ments •  Variations  of  the  Usual  Wording  •  Invitation  to  the  House 
Wedding  •  Invitations  Combining  Invitation  to  Church  Ceremony  and 
Reception  •  Pew  Cards  and  Train  Cards  •  Church  Cards  •  The  Reception 
Card  •  The  Separate  Reception  Invitation  •  Wedding  Announcements 
Variation  of  the  Usual  Wording  •  At  Home  Cards  •  Invitation  to  Informal 
Weddings  •  Invitations  to  Those  in  Mourning 

Military  and  Naval  Forms  for  Wedding  Invitations  and  Announcements: 
Regular  Officer  of  the  U.  S.  Army,  Reserve  Officer  on  Active  Duty,  Retired 
Regular  Army  and  Navy  Officer,  Retired  or  Inactive  Reserve  Officer 

Recalling  Wedding  Invitations  •  Returning  Engagement  and  Wedding  Gifts 
Postponing  Weddings  •  Replying  to  Wedding  Invitations  •  Recalling  a 
Formal  Acceptance 

CHAPTER    TWO      ARRANGING  THE   WEDDING      48 

The  Visit  to  the  Minister  •  Church  Decorations  •  Wedding  Music  •  The 
Bride's  Formal  Wedding  Pictures  •  When  the  Bride  or  Groom  Has  Been 
Married  Before  •  Selection  of  Maid,  Matron  of  Honor,  Bridesmaids,  "Jumor 
Bridesmaid"  •  Selection  of  Ushers  and  Best  Man  •  The  Groom's  Father  as 
Best  Man  •  Duties  of  the  Best  Man  •  Duties  of  Ushers  •  Transportation  to 


and  from  Church  •  Gifts  for  the  Bride's  Attendants,  Ushers,  and  Best  Man 
The  Couple's  Gifts  to  Each  Other  •  The  Bachelor  Dinner 

Dress  for  the  Wedding:  The  Bride's  Clothes  (Superstitions),  The  Groom's 
Clothes,  Dress  for  the  Ushers,  Bridesmaids,  Maid  and  Matron  of  Honor, 
Flower  Girls  and  Page  Boys,  and  Guests 

Flowers  for  the  Wedding  Party  •  Expenses  of  the  Bride's  Parents 
Groom's  Expenses 


CHAPTER    THREE      THE  WEDDING  CEREMONY      63 

The  Rehearsal  •  The  Processional  and  Recessional  •  When  There  Are 
Two  Main  Aisles  •  Procedure  during  the  Ceremony  •  The  Double  Ring 
Ceremony  •  When  the  Bride's  Mother  Gives  Her  Away  •  The  Double 
Wedding  •   Children  at  Second  Marriages   •   The  Thirtyish  Bride 

Differences  in  Religious  Ceremonies:  The  Catholic  Ceremony,  Jewish  Cere- 
monies, The  Christian  Science  Ceremony,  Eastern  Orthodox  Weddings,  The 
Quaker  Ceremony,  The  Mormon  Ceremony 


CHAPTER    FOUR      THE  RECEPTION      78 

The  Receiving  Line  •  Who  Receives  in  Place  of  the  Bride's  Mother  •  Con- 
versation and  the  Receiving  Line  •  Music  and  Dancing  at  the  Reception 
The  Bride's  Table  •  The  Table  for  the  Parents  •  When  There  Is  No 
Bride's  Table  •  The  Wedding  Breakfast  •  The  Wedding  Cake  •  Problems 
of  the  Divided  House  •  Conduct  of  the  Wedding  Guests 

CHAPTER    FIVE      THE  HOME  WEDDING      88 
CHAPTER    SIX      THE  RECTORY   WEDDING      89 
CHAPTER    SEVEN      THE   CLERGYMAN'S    WEDDING      90 
CHAPTER    EIGHT      ELOPEMENTS     CIVIL   CEREMONIES      Ql 


CHAPTER    NINE      THE  TROUSSEAU,  DRUJAL  SHOWERS      93 

Basic  Lists  of  Linens,  China,  Glassware  for  the  Bride   •   Silver  for  the  Bride 
Monogramming   •  Who  Gives  Bridal  Shower   •   Duties  of  Shower  Guest 


CHAPTER    TEN      WEDDING  GIFTS      102 

Must  One  Send  a  Gift?  •  Suitable  Gifts   •  Gifts  to  the  Groom   •  Gifts 


CONTENTS 


Sent  after  the  Wedding  •   Display  of  Wedding  Gifts   •  The  Bride's  Thank- 
You  Letter 


CHAPTER    ELEVEN      THE  HONEYMOON,   POST-WEDDING  CALLS      105 
CHAPTER    TWELVE      WEDDING   ANNTVERSARTES      IO7 

Gift  Suggestions  and  Invitations  to  Wedding  Anniversaries 


CHAPTER    THIRTEEN      CHRISTENINGS     IO9 

When  the  Baby  Is  Christened  •  Invitations  to  the  Christening  •  Dressing 
the  Baby  for  the  Occasion  •  What  Others  Wear  •  Godparents  and  Their 
Responsibilities  •  Church  Christenings  •  The  Clergyman's  Fee  •  The 
Christening  at  Home  •   Refreshments  after  the  Ceremony 


CHAPTER    FOURTEEN      DEBUTS      113 
The  Kinds  of  Debuts 

The  Debutante  Tea:  The  Dress  of  the  Debutante  and  Her  Mother,  The 
Receiving  Line,  The  Guests  at  a  Debutante  Tea 


CHAPTER    FIFTEEN      COURTSHIP  AND  ENGAGEMENTS      115 

Meeting  a  Man's  Family  and  Friends  •  Gifts  before  the  Engagement  •  Re- 
fusing a  Gift  •  The  Proposal  •  The  Conference  with  Father  •  How  Long 
Should  an  Engagement  Last?  •  Is  an  Engagement  Irrevocable?  •  The 
Engagement  and  Wedding  Rings   •    Parties  •  The  Man's  Wedding  Ring 

Announcing  the  Engagement:  Your  Relations  with  the  Press,  How  Much 
Information  the  Announcement  Should  Have,  Release  Date,  Sending  Pic- 
tures, Complicated  RelatJonsips,  Calling  Editors 

If  the  Engagement  Is  Broken  •   Behavior  during  Engagements 


CHAPTER    SIXTEEN      FUNERALS      \TJ 

Immediate  Procedures  when  Death  Occurs  •  Arranging  the  Funeral 
Clothing  for  Burial  •  Hanging  the  Bell  •  Where  the  Funeral  Takes  Place 
Death  Notices  •  Attending  a  Funeral  •  Sending  Flowers  •  Mass  Cards 
Funeral  Calls  •  The  Funeral  Service  •  Pallbearers  •  Ushers  •  Seating 
Arrangements  •  Interment  and  Grave  Marking  •  Fees  to  the  Clergyman, 
Sexton,  and  Organist,  Acknowledgments  of  Flowers,  Mass  Cards,  and  Charity 
Contributions  •  Letters  of  Condolence  and  Replies  •  Mourning  •  Dress 
during  Mourning  •  The  Traditional  Idea  of  Mourning  •  Restriction  of 
Activities  •  Resumption  of  Dating 


2 


DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

INTRODUCTION      140 

CHAPTER    SEVENTEEN      MEN'S  CLOTHES     140 

The  Business  Suit  •  The  Morning  Coat  and  Accessories  •  The  Dinner 
Jacket  and  Accessories  •  The  Tail  Coat  and  Accessories  •  The  Frock  Coat 
The  House  Suit  •  Overcoats  •  Formal  and  Informal  Riding  Clothes 
Ties,  Handkerchiefs,  and  Jewelry  •  Monogramming  Clothes  •  Bad  Weather 
Wear  •  What  Every  Man  Should  Know  about  Vests,  Socks,  and  Shoes 
The  Hatless  and  Gloveless  Man  •  When  Not  to  Wear  Evening  Clothes 
Wearing  Decorations 

CHAPTER    EIGHTEEN      WHATS  WHAT  IN  VARIOUS  SPORTS     l6l 

Dress  and  Rules  of  Behavior  for:  Golf,  Tennis,  Badminton,  Yachting, 
Swimming,  Hunting,  Shooting,  Fishing,  Skiing,  and  Skating 

CHAPTER    NINETEEN      THE  WELL-GROOMED  MAN      171 

Hints  and  Forthright  Information  for  the  Man  Who  Wants  to  Look  His 
Best  at  All  Times  •  The  Bachelor's  Social  Problems 

CHAPTER    TWENTY      MAN'S  MANNERS  IN  RUSINESS  WORLD      176 

When  Does  a  Man  Rise?  •  Who  Precedes  Whom?  •  Smoking  in  the  Office 
Lunching  and  Dining  with  One's  Secretary 

Traveling  toith  a  Secretary:  Making  Reservations,  How  Should  They  Reg- 
ister? Does  a  Secretary  Need  a  Chaperone? 

The  Executive  on  the  Telephone  •  When  Relatives  Visit  the  Office  •  Is  It 
Necessary  to  Meet  Socially  with  One's  Employees?  •  Letters  of  Resignation 

CHAPTER   TWENTY-ONE      THE  MASCULINE  GRACES      183 

Sending  Flowers  •  Lateness  •  Lighting  Women's  Cigarettes  •  Shaking 
Hands  •  Hand  Kissing  •  Conduct  in  Public  •  Conveyances  •  Summon- 
ing and  Sharing  Taxis  •  A  Man's  Bow  •  Manners  on  the  Street  •  Kissing 
in  Public  •  Making  Apologies  •  Opening  Conversations  •  A  Few  Brief 
Reminders 

CHAPTER   TWENTY-TWO      THE  WELL-DRESSED  WOMAN     19O 

Planning  the  Basic  Wardrobe:  Colors,  Coats,  Hats,  Suits,  Underthings, 
Dresses,  Evening  Clothes 


CONTENTS 


Clothes  for  Active  Sports:  Tennis,  Skiing,  Golfing,   Skating,   Swimming, 
Yachting,  Riding,  Shooting 


CHAPTER    TWENTY-THREE      FASTIDIOUS,  WELL-MANNERED  WOMAN     200 
The  Art  of  Being  Well  Groomed:  A  Practical  Beauty  Routine   •   Changing 
for  Dinner,  Make-Up   •   Cosmetic  Defects  and  Plastic  Surgery   •  How  to 
Sit  Comfortably  and  Gracefully   •  When  a  Woman  May  Remove  Her  Hat 

A  Woman's  Manners  in  the  Business  World:  Her  Attitude  toward  Her  Job, 
Her  Appearance,  The  Importance  of  Promptness,  Taking  Orders,  Smoking 
and  Eating  in  the  Office,  Telephone  Calls,  Personal  Letter  Writing  and 
Callers 

The  Woman  Executive:  Her  Attitude  toward  Other  Women,  When  the 
Woman  Pays  the  Bill,  The  Single  Woman 


CHAPTER   TWENTY-FOUR      THE   SOCIAL   PLEASANTRTES     212 

A  Guide  to  Tactful  Conversation:  Replies  to  Greetings,  When  to  Use  a  First 
Name,  If  You  Cannot  Remember  Names,  What  Are  Personal  Questions? 
Dangerous  Topics  of  Conversation,  How  to  Parry  Direct  Questions,  That 
Word  "Lady,"  How  about  "Miss"?  Introductions,  Duty  Dances 


CHAPTER    TWENTY-FIVE      THE  SMOKING  PROBLEM     2ig 

CHAPTER    TWENTY-SIX      CLUBS      222 

Mens  Clubs:  Joining  a  Club,  Tipping  in  Clubs,  Proposing  and  Seconding 
Suggestions  for  New  Members,  Letters  of  Proposal  and  Seconding,  The 
Letter  of  Objection,  Putting  up  a  Guest,  Resigning  from  a  Club,  The  Guest 
of  a  Private  Club 

Women's  Clubs:  How  to  Obtain  Membership,  The  Elective  Clubs,  Club  Teas 

Country  Clubs,  Yacht  Clubs,  and  Beach  Clubs:  Club  Guests 

CHAPTER    TWENTY-SEVEN      MANNERS  AT  TABLE     228 

Who  Is  Served  First?  •  When  to  Begin  Eating  •  Use  of  the  Knife  and 
Fork  •  Drinking  Beverages  at  the  Table  •  The  Napkin  •  Tipping  of 
Dishes  •  The  Handled  Bouillon  Cup  •  Testing  Liquids  •  "Stirring"  Food 
Conserves  and  Jellies  •  When  Food  Is  Too  Hot  •  "Spoiled"  Food 
Coughing  at  the  Table  •  "Foreign  Matter"  in  Food  •  When  You  Need 
Silverware  •  Tasting  Another's  Food  •  Using  Bread  as  a  "Pusher" 
Reaching  at  the  Table  •  Conversation  •  Posture  •  Taking  Portions  from 
a  Serving  Dish  •  Additional  Butter  •  How  to  Hold  Glasses  •  Saying 
Grace 


How  to  Eat  Various  Foods:  Artichokes,  Asparagus,  Bacon,  Cake,  Celery  and 
Olives,  Chicken,  Corn  on  the  Cob,  Fish,  Fruit— Apples,  Pears,  Apricots, 
Cherries,  Kumquats,  Plums,  Halved  Avocados,  Bananas,  Berries,  Grapes, 
Oranges,  Mangoes,  Peaches,  Persimmons,  Pineapple,  Stewed  or  Preserved 
Fruit,  Tangerines,  Watermelon,  Pickles,  Potatoes,  Salad,  Salt,  Sandwiches, 
Seafood,  Spaghetti,  Tortillas 


CHAPTER    TWENTY-EIGHT      OUR  COMMUNITY  RELATIONS      243 

Interfaith  Courtesy  and  Understanding:  Learning  about  and  Bespecting 
Other  Beligions,  Should  a  Christian  Send  a  Christmas  Card  to  a  Jewish 
Friend?  Dietary  Laws  of  Jews,  Boman  and  Greek  Catholics,  Episcopalians, 
and  Moslems,  Beligious  Holidays,  Ceremonies  of  Many  Faiths,  Particular 
Courtesies,  Clerical  Dress 


CHAPTER    TWENTY-NINE      NEW  CITIZEN,  HIS  PARTICULAR  PROBLEMS      250 

Our  Attitude  toward  Newcomers  to  the  United  States  and  What  They 
Think  of  Us 

Differences  in  Manners:  Tucking  in  the  Dinner  Napkin,  The  American 
and  Continental  Use  of  the  Knife  and  Fork,  The  Use  of  the  Toothpick, 
Acknowledging  a  Compliment,  Introductions  and  Salutations,  Using  the 
Phone,  The  Use  of  "Lady"  and  "Gentleman,"  Changing  Your  Name 

The  New  Citizen  and  the  English  Language:  Is  it  Necessary  to  Eliminate 
All  Trace  of  a  Foreign  Accent?  Foreign  Words  in  English,  Writing  Letters 


3 


HOME  ENTERTAINING 

INTRODUCTION       260 

CHAPTER    THIRTY      INFORMAL  ENTERTAINING     26l 

The  Company  or  Semiformal  Dinner  Party:  Greeting  the  Arriving  Guests, 
Entering  the  Dining  Boom,  Suggested  Menu  for  Dinner,  Arranging  the 
Table,  Dinner  Service  with  One  Maid,  After-Dinner  Coffee  or  Demitasse 

The  Informal  Lunch:  Dress,  Suggested  Menu,  The  Service 

The  Informal  Tea:  Dress,  Arrangement  of  the  Tea  Tray 

Cocktail  Parties:  Equipment  Necessary,  Arranging  the  Boom,  How  to  Handle 
the  Guests  Who  Linger 


CONTENTS 

Informal  Dancing  at  Home:  Preparations  for  Simple  Home  Dancing,  Refresh- 
ments, Duties  of  Host  and  Guest 
Open  House 

CHAPTER    THIRTY-ONE      FORMAL  ENTERTAINING      27I 

The  Formal  Dinner:  The  Staff  and  Equipment  Necessary  for  Giving  a  Formal 

Dinner,  Arrival  and  Introduction  of  Guests,  Entering  the  Dining  Room, 

Seating,  Place  Cards,  Menus  and  Menu  Cards,  Service,  Turning  the  Table, 

Leaving  the  Dining  Room,  Departing  after  the  Formal  Dinner 

The  Formal  Luncheon:  Dress,  Greeting  Guests,  Place  Cards  and  Menus, 

Arranging  the  Table,  Suggested  Menu 

The  Formal  Tea:  The  Table  and  Lighting,  Service,  Food,  Bidding  Farewell 

Formal  Dances  at  Home:  Decorations,  Introductions  at  a  Formal  Dance, 

Specific  Duties  of  the  Male  Guest,  Supper 

At  Home 

CHAPTER    THIRTY-TWO      THE  GUEST  AT  FORMAL  MEALS      283 

Watching  the  Service,  Second  Portions,  Do  Guests  Assist  with  Service? 
Greeting  Servants  at  Table,  The  Token  Portion,  Placement  of  Used  Silver, 
What  to  Do  about  Crumbs  and  Spilled  Food,  Presentation  of  the  Finger 
Bowl,  The  Signal  to  Rise 

CHAPTER    THIRTY-THREE      THE  RITUAL  OF  DRINKING     286 

What  Kinds  of  Drinks  for  Guests?  •  The  Various  Cocktails  and  Highballs— 
Their  Suitability  and  Preparation  •  White  and  Red  Wines  •  Sweet  and 
Dry  Wines  •  Filtered  Domestic  Wines  •  Storage  of  Wines  •  Glassware 
Decanting  •  Pouring  of  Wines   •  Toasts 

CHAPTER    THIRTY-FOUR      ENTERTAINING  INDOORS     293 

Conversation  Is  Fun   •  Ice  Breakers   •   Music  in  the  Evening   •  Television 

Playing  Bridge:  Setting  up  Tables,  Behavior  during  the  Game 

Playing  Cards  for  Money:  Paying  Off  Gambling  Debts 

CHAPTER    THIRTY  FIVE      ENTERTAINING  OUT  OF  DOORS      298 

Picnics  on  Your  Own  Grounds:  Necessary  Outdoor  Cooking  Equipment, 
Arranging  the  Table,  Food  Suggestions 

Picnics  away  from  Home:  Equipment  for  the  "Traveling"  Picnic,  The  Art 
of  Packing  the  Picnic  Hamper 

Al  Fresco  Meals:  Selecting  the  Right  Spot,  Service  and  Food  Suggestions 

CHAPTER    THIRTY-SIX      HOSTS  AND  GUESTS      3OO 

Arrivals  and  Departures   •   The  Self-Invited  Guest   •  Inviting  a  Guest  to 


Another's  Party  •  The  Guests  Who  Won't  Go  •  Problem  Drinkers  •  The 
Obnoxious  Guest 

Making  Your  Overnight  Guest  Feel  at  Home:  The  Extra  Touches  that  Count, 
The  Well-Appointed  Guest  Room— Beds,  Shades,  Draperies,  and  Curtains 

Guest  Houses:  Solving  the  Heating  Problems,  What  to  Do  If  You  Live  in 
the  Real  Country,  Instructions  in  Case  of  Emergency 

The  Week-End  Guest:  Invitation  and  Reply,  Arrival  and  Departure,  Gift  to 
the  Hostess,  What  Clothes  to  Take,  Rules  of  Behavior,  Greeting  Servants, 
How  to  Infuriate  Your  Hostess,  How  to  Help  with  the  Household  Routine, 
Duties  of  the  Overnight  Guest  in  the  City 


4 


HOUSEHOLD  MANAGEMENT 

INTRODUCTION      326 

CHAPTER    THIRTY-SEVEN      FURNISHINGS  IN  THE  ESTABLISHED 
HOUSEHOLD      326 

How  to  Form  Your  Own  Tastes  in  Selecting  Furniture  •  Effective  Grouping 
of  Furniture  •  Choosing  Furniture  to  Fit  the  Individual  •  Selecting  the 
Right  Colors 

Linens:  Monogramming,  Marking  Linens  for  the  Laundry,  Linens  for  the 
Nursery,  Formal  and  Informal  Table  Linens 

China:  Blending  the  Various  Kinds  of  China,  China  for  Formal  and  Informal 
Use 

Glassware:  Special  Handling  of  Fine  Glassware,  Replacing  Broken  Glass- 
ware, The  Right  Glass  for  the  Right  Occasion 

CHAPTER    THIRTY-EIGHT      SETTING  THE  TABLE      336 

Breakfast  at  the  Table  •  Breakfast  on  Trays  •  Decorations  for  the  Breakfast 
Table  and  Breakfast  Tray 

The  Place  Setting  for  the  Informal  Lunch:  Suggested  Dishes  for  the  Informal 
Lunch  and  Table  Decorations 

The  Informal  or  Semiformal  Dinner:  Silver,  Table  Linen,  Glassware,  China, 
Table  Decorations 

The  Formal  Luncheon:  Silver,  Table  Linen,  Glassware,  China,  Table  Deco- 
rations 


CONTENTS 

The  Formal  Dinner:  Silver,  Table  Linen,  Glassware,  China,  Table  Decora- 
tions 

Arranging  the  Buffet  Table 

CHAPTER    THIRTY-NINE      SPECIAL  PROBLEMS  OF  SERVICE      351 

The  Placing  of  Teaspoons  •  The  Iced-Tea  Spoon  •  Serving  Water  at  Meals 
The  Service  of  Tea,  Coffee,  Demitasse,  and  Candy  •  The  Service  of  Food 
on  Trays  •  Setting  the  Table  for  Card  Table  Service  •  The  Fine  Damask 
Cloth  •  Garnishes   •  When  Are  Place  Cards  Needed? 

CHAPTER    FORTY      EMPLOYER-SERVANT  RELATIONS     358 

The  Hiring  of  Servants  •  The  Domestic  Employment  Agency  •  Wages 
Your  Requirements  •  Interviewing  a  Prospective  Maid  •  What  Recom- 
mends You  as  an  Employer?  •  How  Good  Are  References?  •  The  Part- 
Time  Worker  •  Introducing  the  New  Servant  to  the  Household  •  Intro- 
ducing Servants  and  Guests  •  How  to  Furnish  a  Maid's  Room  •  The 
General  Houseworker  •  If  You  Are  Your  Own  Managing  Housekeeper 
How  to  Write  Notes  to  Servants  and  Tradespeople  •  The  Question  of  Time 
Off  and  Special  Privileges  •  Workman's  Compensation  •  Dismissing  a 
Servant  •  The  Letter  of  Reference  •  Giving  References  over  the  Phone 

CHAPTER    FORTY-ONE      DRESS  AND  DUTIES  OF  THE  HOUSEHOLD  STAFF      37O 

The  Formal  and  Informal  Attire  of  the  Butler  and  His  Duties  •  The  Valet 
The  Chauffeur  •  Duties  and  Dress  of  the  Housekeeper,  the  Companion,  the 
Social  Secretary,  the  Cook  and  Kitchen  Maid,  the  Lady's  Maid,  the  Chamber- 
maid 


CHAPTER    FORTY-TWO      GRACIOUS  LIVING  WITHOUT  SERVANTS     377 
A  Routine  for  Managing  the  Servantless  Household 

Maidless  Entertaining:  The  Buffet  Dinner,  How  to  Serve  a  Sit-Down  Dinner 
without  a  Maid,  After-Dinner  Coffee,  After-Dinner  Tea,  How  to  Make  Tea, 
Suggested  Menus  for  Maidless  Dinners,  Extra  Guests  at  the  Dessert  Course 

CHAPTER    FORTY-THREE      HOUSEHOLD  FINANCES     387 

Financing  the  Family:  Children's  Bank  Accounts,  Letting  the  Children  in 
on  Finances,  Joint  Checking  Accounts,  Who  Should  Manage  the  Family 
Income,  Deficit  Financing,  Establishing  Credit,  Poor  Credit  Risks,  Living 
within  Your  Means 

Checking  Accounts:  How  to  Open  a  Checking  Account,  How  to  Avoid 
Errors,  Blank  Checks,  Printing  and  Dating  Checks,  Who  Accepts  Checks, 
Stopping  Payments  on  Checks,  Drawing  against  Uncleared  Checks,  If  You 
Lose  Your  Checkbook,  Post-Dated  Checks 


5 


CORRESPONDENCE 

INTRODUCTION      400 

CHAPTER    FORTY-FOUR      STATIONERY  AND  LETTERS     40I 

A  Woman's  Social  Stationery  •  A  Man's  Social  Stationery  •  "Personal" 
Business  Stationery  •  Business  Firms'  Stationery  •  Signatures  on  Checks, 
Legal  Papers,  and  Letters  •  Illegible  Signatures  •  Sequence  of  Pages  in  a 
Letter  •  Addressing  Social  Envelopes  •  The  Use  of  "Personal"  and  "Please 
Forward"   •   The  Use  of  "Messrs."   •   Letters  That  Must  Be  Handwritten 

Social  Letter  Writing:  The  Correct  Form  for  Social  Letters,  How  to  Get 
Started,  Bread-and-Butter  Letters,  Thank-You  Notes,  "Angry"  Letters,  A 
Letter  of  Complaint  to  a  Neighbor,  Letters  of  Apology,  Love  Letters,  Letters 
of  Social  Reference,  Writing  to  a  Celebrity,  Writing  to  the  White  House, 
Writing  to  a  Public  Official,  Christmas  Cards 

Women's  Business  Letters:  Writing  the  Business  Letter,  Ordering  from  a 
Department  Store,  Letters  of  Complaint  to  a  Business  Organization,  Making 
Hotel  Reservations 

CHAPTER    FORTY-FIVE      INVITATIONS,   ACCEPTANCES,   AND  REGRETS      425 


CHAPTER    FORTY-SIX      CORRECT  FORMS  OF  ADDRESS      437 

How  to  Address  in  Writing  and  Speaking— Members  of  the  United  States 
Government,  Foreign  Representatives,  Members  of  the  Clergy,  British  Offi- 
cials and  Individuals  •  The  British  Use  of  Esquire  •  Military  Forms  of 
Address 


CHAPTER    FORTY-SEVEN      HERALDIC  DEVICES      464 

What  Is  a  Coat  of  Arms?   •   The  Lozenge   •   How  Heraldic  Devices  Are 
Used 


CHAPTER    FORTY-EIGHT      WRITING  AND  CONVERSATION  CAN  BE 
COLORFUL      467 

A  Bowing  Acquaintance  with  Other  Languages  •  Familiar  Words  and 
Phrases  from  French,  Latin,  German,  and  Other  Languages  •  Common 
Expressions  from  English  Literature  •  Words  and  Phrases  Often  Incor- 
rectly Used  and  Pronounced  •  Musical  Terms  •  Culinary  Terms  •  Re- 
gional Accents  •  The  Well-Modulated  Voice 


6 


CONTENTS 


THE  FAMILY  AND  SOCIAL 
EDUCATION  OF  THE  CHILDREN 


INTRODUCTION      488 

CHAPTER    FORTY-NINE      MANNERS  IN  MARRIAGE      489 

Understanding  the  Woman  in  the  House  •  The  Agreeable  Husband 
How  a  Husband  Can  Lend  a  Hand  •  Business  Entertaining  •  The  Agree- 
able Wife  •  Meeting  Commuter  Trains  •  Special  Adjustments  •  What  to 
Do  about  Annoying  Habits  •  Overweight  and  Underweight  •  Speaking  of 
Diets  •  The  In-Law  Problem  •  Your  Mother-in-Law  •  When  Your 
Spouse's  Parents  Live  with  You  •  What  to  Do  about  Real  Trouble-Makers 
When  a  Parent  Requires  Financial  Support 

CHAPTER    FIFTY      CHILDREN,   THE  FORMATION  OF  CHARACTER      499 

Choosing  the  Baby's  Name  •  Does  Your  Child  Need  a  Middle  Name? 
Boys'  Names  for  Girls,  and  Vice  Versa 

Children's  Clothes:  Dressing  the  Baby,  Clothes  for  the  Pre-School  and  the 
Older  Child,  Hand-me-downs  and  Made-overs,  When  Does  a  Child  Choose 
His  Own  Clothes? 

About  Allowances:  How  Much  Allowance  Should  a  Child  Have?  •  With- 
holding Allowances 

Children's  Table  Manners:  Playing  with  Food,  Must  a  Child  Finish  His 
Food?  Should  a  Child  Choose  His  Own  Food?  Small  Children  at  Table, 
Should  Children  Be  Seen  and  Not  Heard?  Older  Children  at  Table,  Awk- 
wardness in  Children 

The  Social  Behavior  of  Children:  Twenty-two  Guides  for  Good  Conduct, 
Calling  Parents  by  Their  First  Names,  "Making"  Children  Mind  Their  Man- 
ners, Must  a  Little  Girl  Curtsy?  The  Boy's  Bow,  Extending  Invitations, 
Children's  Introductions,  Birthday  Parties  for  Children,  The  Child's  Manners 
at  His  Party 

Special  Problems:  Taking  a  Child  to  the  Doctor's  Office  •  The  Child  in  the 
Hospital,  Children  in  the  Dark,  Handling  the  Shy  Child 

The  Baby  Sitter:  You  and  Your  Sitter,  How  Old  Should  a  Sitter  Be?  Should 
the  Sitter  Be  Allowed  to  Entertain?  Sharing  Sitters,  Neighbors  Sit  for  Each 
Other,  Mother  Needs  a  Night  Out  Too 

CHAPTER    FIFTY-ONE      THE  RELIGIOUS  EDUCATION  OF  CHILDREN     523 


CHAPTER    FIFTY-TWO      THE  ADULT-CHILD  RELATIONSHD?     524 

Your  Manners  with  Children  •  Your  Tone  of  Voice  •  Conversation  with 
Children  •  Teaching  Children  to  Behave  •  Why  We  Must  Have  Rules 
Are  Threats  Effective?  •  Interference  from  Friends  or  Relatives  •  Is  It  a 
Child's  World?  •  The  Treatment  of  Servants  by  Children 


CHAPTER    FIFTY-THREE      ADOPTING  A  CHILD      530 


CHAPTER    FIFTY-FOUR      TRAVELING  WITH  CHTLDREN      532 

The  Advantages  of  an  Early  Start  •  Travel  Sickness  •  The  Supplies  You'll 
Need  •  Travel  Clothes  •  Thoughtfulness  of  Others  •  Descending  on 
Friends 


CHAPTER    FIFTY-FIVE      THE  TEEN-AGER      535 

Is  Strictness  the  Answer?  •  Teen  Drinking  •  Smoking  •  Make-Up  and 
Permanents  •  About  Chaperones  •  Can  the  Group  Chaperone  Itself? 
Teen  Dates  •  How  Does  a  Boy  Ask  for  a  Date?  •  Dates  and  Money 
Refusing  a  Date  •  Subscription  Dances,  School  Dances,  and  Proms 


CHAPTER    FIFTY-SIX      DIVORCE  AND  SEPARATION      541 

Procedures  and  Agencies  That  Are  of  Help  in  Marital  Difficulties  •  Your 
Relations  with  Other  People  and  the  Press  during  a  Trial  Separation 
Change  of  Name  and  Address  after  a  Woman  Is  Divorced  •  Our  Attitude 
toward  Divorce  and  the  Divorcee  •  Remarriage  of  Divorced  Persons  to 
Each  Other 


7 


YOUR  PUBLIC  LIFE 

INTRODUCTION      548 


CHAPTER    FIFTY-SEVEN      DINING  IN  RESTAURANTS     549 

Entering  a  Restaurant  •  Seating  and  Ordering  •  Omitting  Courses  •  Or- 
dering Wine  •  Presentation  of  Dishes  •  If  There  Are  Complaints  •  Buffet 
Service  in  Restaurants  •  Presentation  of  the  Check  •  Tipping  at  Private 
Dinners  •  Tipping  at  Public  Dinners  •  The  Guest  at  a  Public  Dinner 
Dress  at  Public  Dinners  •  Leaving  Restaurants 


CONTENTS 

CHAPTER    FIFTY-EIGHT      CARDS  AND  CALLS      557 

When  Cards  Are  Left  •  The  Size  and  Style  of  Cards-  •  Children's  Cards 
Addresses  on  Cards  •  Engraving  •  A  Man's  Social  Card  •  The  Use  of 
Professional  Titles  on  Cards  •  Husband  and  Wife  Cards  •  A  Woman's 
Social  Card  •  Women's  Titles  on  Cards  •  Is  a  Girl  Ever  a  Jr.?  •  When 
You  May  Send  Your  Card  •  Using  Your  Card  for  Invitations  •  How  to  Mail 
Cards  •  When  No  R.S.V.P.  Is  Required  •  The  P.P.C.  Card  •  How  Many 
Cards  Are  Left  at  One  Call  •  To  Insure  Your  Card's  Delivery  •  When 
Not  to  Use  Your  Card  •  Men's  Business  Cards  •  Women's  Business  Cards 
Social  Cards  vs.  Business  Cards   •  If  You  Have  No  Cards 

Making  and  Receiving  Calls:  The  Call  Itself,  Conversation  during  Calls, 
Bringing  Flowers,  Calling  on  the  Eligible  Man,  The  Bachelor  Host  and 
Calls,  Calls  of  Condolence,  Calling  on  a  Public  Official 


CHAPTER    FIFTY-NINE      HOSPITALS   AND  DOCTORS      577 

Visiting  the  New  Mother  •  Flowers  •  If  You  Are  the  Patient  •  How  to 
Share  a  Hospital  Room   •  You  and  Your  Nurse 

Visiting  Your  Doctor:  Professional  Ethics,  Medical  Examinations,  Personal 
Relationships 

CHAPTER    SIXTY      SPEAKING  BEFORE   AN  AUDTENCE     581 

Introducing  Your  Speech  •  Using  the  Voice  Correctly  •  If  You  Have  to 
Cough  •  Reading  a  Speech  •  The  Use  of  Jokes,  Illustrations,  and  Anec- 
dotes •  Closing  a  Speech  •  Making  Your  Departure  •  Dress  of  the  Man 
Speaker  •  What  to  Wear  If  You're  a  Woman  •  Your  Radio  Appearance 
If  You  Appear  on  Television 

CHAPTER    SEXTY-ONE      SIMPLE  PARLIAMENTARY  PROCEDURE      588 


CHAPTER    SIXTY-TWO      APPEARANCE  AT  PUBLIC  FUNCTIONS      59O 

Dressing  for  the  Opera  •  Seating  in  Opera  Boxes  •  Applauding  at  the 
Opera  and  at  Concerts   •   Behavior  at  the  Theater 

Attending  Auctions:  Inspecting  before  You  Buy,  Asking  for  Specific  Items, 
How  to  Bid,  Must  the  Auctioneer  Accept  Your  Bid?  Dealers  as  Your  Com- 
petitors, Imperfect  Merchandise,  Checking  for  Authenticity,  Buying  An- 
tiques, Paying  by  Check,  The  Country  Auction 

CHAPTER    SIXTY-THREE      YOUR  PRESS  RELATIONS      598 

The  Gossip  Columnist  and  the  Society  Writer  •  What  about  Pictures? 
You  and  the  Law  •  Endorsements   •  Special  Press  Problems 


CHAPTER    SIXTY-FOUR      YOU  AND  CELEBRITIES      602 

Asking  for  Autographs   •   Entertaining  a  Celebrity   •   Pity  the  Poor  Author 


8 


OFFICIAL  ETIQUETTE 
FOR  CIVILIANS 


INTRODUCTION      606 


CHAPTER    SIXTY-FIVE      ATTENDING  ANNAPOLIS  HOPS      607 

What  to  Do  and  What  Not  to  Do   •   Necessary  Clothes   •   The  Hop  Itself 
Entertainment  of  Midshipmen   •   The  Souvenir  Hunter   •   Annapolis  Slang 


CHAPTER    SIXTY-SEX      VISITING  WEST  POINT      6l2 

Expenses  for  the  Week  End   •   Necessary  Clothes   •   Entertainment  at  the 
Point   •   West  Point  Slanguage 

CHAPTER    SIXTY-SEVEN      ETIQUETTE  FOR  BRTDE  OF  MILITARY  MAN     6l6 
General  Protocol  on  the  Military  Post  or  Navy  Yard   •   Post  Calls   •   How 
to  Tell  Military  Rank 


CHAPTER    SIXTY-EIGHT      SHIP  LAUNCHINGS,  VISITING  A  NAVAL  VESSEL     619 
General  Procedure  and  Correct  Dress  for  a  Ship  Launching   •   Boarding  a 
Naval  Vessel  and  Making  a  Call   •   Saluting  the  Quarter  Deck   •   Prohibi- 
tions Concerning  Naval  Vessels   •   Officers'  Staterooms   •   Maritime  Terms 
Formal  Naval  Invitations  and  Replies 


CHAPTER    SIXTY-NINE      THE  NEWEST  RESIDENT  IN  WASHINGTON      625 

Accepting  or  Declining  a  White  House  Invitation   •   Being  Received  at  the 
White  House   •   Business  Calls  on  the  President 


CHAPTER    SEVENTY      THE  FLAG,   OUR  NATIONAL  ANTHEM     628 

When  and  How  to  Display  the  Flag  •  The  Singing  of  Our  National  Anthem 
The  Star-Spangled  Banner  •  Anthems  of  Other  Nations  •  Playing  the 
Anthem  at  Home 


9 


CONTENTS 


TRAVEL  ETIQUETTE  AT  HOME 
AND  ABROAD 


INTRODUCTION      636 

CHAPTER    SEVENTY-ONE      TRAVELING  BY  SHIP      637 

Dress  and  Behavior  aboard  Ship  •  Seating  in  the  Dining  Room  •  Dress 
aboard  Transatlantic  Ships  •  Behavior  at  Table  •  Tipping  aboard  Ship 
Dressing  for  Cruises 

Plane  Travel:  Luggage,  Behavior  aboard  the  Plane,  Duties  of  the  Plane 
Personnel,  Tipping 

Train  Travel:  Baggage,  Seating,  When  Occupying  a  Section,  Dressing  and 
Undressing,  Use  of  the  Ladder,  The  Roomette  and  the  Compartment,  The 
Diner,  Tipping,  Train  Manners 

Hotel  Tipping  •  Talking  to  Strangers  while  Traveling 

CHAPTER    SEVENTY-TWO     TIPS  TO  THE  STAY-AT-HOME      646 

Suitable  Bon  Voyage  Gifts  •  Going  aboard  Ship  to  Say  Good-by  •  Train 
and  Plane  Farewells 

CHAPTER    SEVENTY-THREE      HOW  CUSTOMS  DIFFER  ABROAD      647 

The  American  Custom  of  Taking  Baths  •  The  W.C.  •  The  "Pourboire" 
The  "Boots"  •  Tips  on  Traveling  within  a  Country  and  from  Country  to 
Country  in  Europe  •  Eating  Customs  •  Smoking  at  Table  •  Is  the 
Woman  Always  Placed  to  the  Right  of  the  Man?  •  Are  We  Boorish 
Abroad?  •  American  Women  in  Latin  Countries  •  American  Men  in  Latin 
Countries   •   Dancing   •  The  Paid  Dancing  Partner  •  Taking  Pictures 

CHAPTER    SEVENTY-FOUR      AN  AUDIENCE  WITH  THE  POPE     656 

Requesting  an  Audience  •  What  Clothes  to  Wear  •  Taking  Religious 
Objects  to  Be  Blessed  •  Procedure  during  the  Audience  •  Taking  Leave 

CHAPTER    SEVENTY-FIVE      TRAVELING  BY  CAR      659 

Taking  Taxis:  Behavior  in  Taxis,  Conversation  with  the  Driver,  Losing 
Articles  in  Taxis,  Tipping 

Good  Manners  and  Your  Car:  Hand  Signals,  Thoughtless  Acts,  The  Good 
Driver,  The  Welcome  Passenger,  Double  Parking,  Is  the  Slow  Driver  the 
Best  Driver?  You  and  the  Law,  Hitch-Hikers 

Selecting  an  Automobile:  Colors  in  Cars,  Can  You  Live  up  to  Your  Car? 
The  Station  Wagon,  Marking  the  Station  Wagon 


1 


THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

Wedding  Invitations  and  Announcements  27 

Arranging  the  Wedding  48 

The  Wedding  Ceremony  63 

The  Wedding  Reception  78 

The  Home  Wedding  88 

The  Rectory  Wedding  8q 

The  Clergyman's  Wedding  go 

Elopements  and  Civil  Ceremonies  91 

The  Trousseau  and  Bridal  Showers  93 

Wedding  Gifts  102 

The  Honeymoon  and  Post-Wedding  Calls  205 

Wedding  Anniversaries  107 

Christenings  ioq 

Debuts  113 

Courtship  and  Engagements  11$ 

Funerals  127 


THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 


Every  life,  even  that  in  a  primitive  society,  has  its  ceremonies  great  and 
small,  religious  and  non-religious.  We  observe  small  ceremonies  when  we 
say  "good  morning"  and  "good  night,"  when  we  celebrate  a  birthday  or 
attend  a  graduation.  But  the  important  ceremonies  of  life  have  to  do  with 
its  beginning— the  ritual  of  circumcision  of  the  Jews  and  the  Mohammedans, 
the  Christian  baptism  or  dedication  of  the  child,  the  youthful  years  of  court- 
ship and  marriage,  and  life's  finale.  People  are  born,  are  married,  and,  at 
length  after  a  more  or  less  ceremonious  life,  die.  And  everywhere  friends, 
neighbors,  and  relatives  take  cognizance  of  at  least  the  major  ceremonies 
affecting  each  of  us. 

Of  all  life's  ceremonies  that  of  marriage  is  the  most  touching  and  beautiful. 
This  is  the  long  anticipated  climax  of  girlhood— and  boyhood,  too— the  door- 
way to  true  maturity,  the  farewell  to  parents  as  protectors,  the  acceptance 
of  responsibility.  Madame  de  Stael  wrote,  "Without  marriage  there  is  no 
happiness  in  love."  Love  seeks  completion  and  the  protection  of  marriage 
and  the  family. 

All  people  everywhere  rightly  make  a  ceremony  of  marriage.  They  pro- 
claim it  publicly  with  a  variety  of  rituals  devised  to  impress  its  enormous 
importance  on  the  hearts  and  minds  of  the  participants  and  witnesses.  All 
marriages  should  be  solemn  and  well-proclaimed,  with  the  vows  exchanged 
in  a  dignified,  suitable  setting. 

Whether  the  bride  wears  a  lovely  bridal  gown  or  a  simple  cotton  frock 
makes,  of  course,  no  difference  in  the  dignity  and  impressiveness  of  the 
ceremony.  I  believe  it  is  good  and  valuable  if  parents  and  friends  gather 
together  to  witness  the  marriage  in  the  traditional  way  and  that  it  take  place 
—preferably  under  some  religious  auspices— in  the  bride's  place  of  worship 
or  in  her  home.  The  elaborateness  or  simplicity  of  the  wedding  is  of  no  real 
consequence.  It  is  the  spirit  in  which  we  marry  that  is  truly  meaningful. 

Ceremony  is  really  a  protection,  too,  in  times  of  emotional  involvement, 
particularly  at  death.  If  we  have  a  social  formula  to  guide  us  and  do  not 
have  to  extemporize,  we  feel  better  able  to  handle  life. 

I  know  a  writer  who  says  he  likes  Sunday  noon  dinner  because  it  helps  to 
set  the  day  apart.  He  makes  a  ceremony  of  it.  All  ceremony,  large  and  small, 
sets  apart  certain  times  of  the  year,  week,  and  day  for  special  marked  atten- 
26 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 


tion.  If  we  ignore  ceremony  entirely,  we  are  not  normal,  warm  human 
beings.  Conversely,  if  we  never  relax  it,  if  we  "stand  on  ceremony"  in  all 
things,  we  are  rigid.  We  must  learn  which  ceremonies  may  be  breached 
occasionally  at  our  convenience  and  which  ones  may  never  be  if  we  are  to 
live  pleasantly  with  our  fellow  man. 


CHAPTER    ONE 

WEDDING  INVITATIONS  AND  ANNOUNCEMENTS 

It  is  the  bride's  family  that  sets  the  size  and  style  of  the  wedding.  If  a  large 
wedding  is  decided  upon,  the  necessary  invitation  lists  must  be  started  almost 
as  soon  as  the  engagement  is  announced  or  this  vital  clerical  chore  will  still 
be  hanging  fire  during  the  complicated  arrangements  for  such  a  wedding. 
The  groom  and  his  family  must  co-operate  by  furnishing  their  invitation  and 
announcement  lists  as  early  as  possible,  so  the  bride  may  combine  them  with 
her  own  usually  larger  lists,  remove  duplications,  and,  if  necessary,  shorten 
the  lists  with  the  help  of  both  families. 

For  a  large  formal  wedding  many  more  people  receive  invitations  than 
can  possibly  accept.  Even  friends  at  a  great  distance  are  informed  by  means 
of  the  invitation  that  the  wedding  is  taking  place.  The  list  should  include  all 
relatives  of  the  bride  and  groom,  all  close  friends  of  both  families,  neighbors, 
old  family  retainers,  business  associates  of  the  two  fathers  and  of  the  groom 
and,  of  course,  of  the  bride,  if  she's  a  career  girl  and  will  continue  her  work. 
And,  incidentally,  invitations  should  be  sent  to  the  parents  of  the  groom  and 
members  of  the  wedding  party.  These  are  treasured  as  mementos  of  the 
occasion. 

The  full  list  is  then  broken  down  into  (1)  those  who  receive  invitations 
to  the  wedding,  (2)  those  who  will  receive  a  reception  card  in  addition, 
(3)  those  who  will  receive  announcements  and  "At  Home"  cards,  if  any. 

Ordinary  three-inch  by  five-inch  file  cards  with  two  sets  of  alphabetical 
indexes  and  two  convenient  boxes  provide  the  best  method  of  compiling  a 
working  list.  Cards  of  different  colors  may  be  used  on  the  finished  list  to 
indicate  quickly  into  which  category  each  name  falls,  but  the  usual  method 
is  to  write  in  colored  pencil  an  initial  on  the  top  right-  or  left-hand  corner 
of  each  card— "C"  for  ceremony,  "R"  for  reception,  as  well  as  ceremony,  "A" 
for  announcement. 

In  filing  the  cards  follow  the  alphabetical  procedure,  don't  just  put  all  the 
A's  or  B's  together  or  duplications  will  be  hard  to  locate.  Using  such  an 
easily  expansible— or  contractible— file  is  better  than  just  typing  up  lists  on 
sheets  of  paper  or  entering  names  in  a  notebook  under  alphabetical  head- 

*7 


ings  where  they  may  end  up  a  thicket  of  crossed-out  names  that  will  make 
addressing  confusing. 

The  second  file  box  should  hold  "Acceptances"  and  "Regrets"  so  that  when 
the  reception  preparations  are  made  a  fairly  accurate  count  may  be  had, 
with  some  allowance  made  for  last-minute  changes.  Both  acceptances  and 
regrets  should  be  filed  alphabetically,  too. 

WHEN    SHOULD   INVITATIONS    AND   ANNOUNCEMENTS   BE    SENT? 

Wedding  invitations,  unlike  ordinary  social  invitations,  are  sent  approxi- 
mately four  weeks  in  advance  of  the  wedding.  Engraved  invitations  tal 
time  and  should  be  ordered  at  least  six  weeks  before  they  are  to  be  sent  out, 
with  consideration  given  the  time  it  will  take  to  address  outer  and  inner 
envelopes.  Announcements,  ordered  at  the  same  time,  are  not,  of  course,  sent 
out  until  after  the  marriage  has  taken  place,  but,  if  possible,  they  should  be 
ready  for  mailirg  all  at  once  a  day  or  so  after  the  ceremony,  so  that  news 
of  the  marriage  in  the  papers  does  not  too  much  predate  friends'  receipt 
of  the  announcements. 


CHOOSING   THE    TIME    OF   THE   WEDDING 

The  time  of  day  considered  fashionable  for  weddings  differs  in  different 
parts  of  the  country.  In  New  York  many  fashionable  Protestant  weddings 
take  place  at  four,  four-thirty,  or  five  in  the  afternoon.  Evening  weddings 
are  relatively  rare  in  New  York  but  fashionable  in  many  other  parts  of  tho 
country.  Their  own  Sabbath,  Christian  or  Jewish,  is  usually  not  chosen  for 
a  wedding  day  by  brides  of  these  faiths  (Religious  Jews  may  not  be  marrieu 
on  the  Sabbath— Friday  sundown  through  Saturday  sundown— or  on  certain 
high  holy  days)  nor  is  Lent  by  Christians,  at  least  not  for  religious  cere- 
monies. It  is  not  considered  good  taste  for  Christians  to  have  even  large 
home  weddings  during  Lent,  though,  of  course,  simple  marriages  with  or 
without  a  clergyman  do  take  place  during  these  forty  days  of  penitence. 

Formal  and  fashionable  Catholic  weddings  in  church  take  place  with  Mass 
at  noon.  Simple  ceremonies  at  which  the  bride  may  wear  her  wedding  gown 
and  the  groom  may  wear  a  cutaway  or  a  blue  suit  (see  "The  Groom's 
Clothes")  are  often  performed  very  early  with  Low  Mass  or  at  ten,  followed 
by  a  wedding  breakfast.  No  Catholic  wedding  takes  place  after  seven  at 
night,  except  in  the  case  of  great  emergency— grave  illness,  perhaps,  or 
possibly  the  sudden  arrival  of  military  orders  for  the  groom-to-be. 

Protestant  morning  weddings  are  usually  simple  and  informal  with  the 
bride  wearing  a  dress  or  suit,  not  a  wedding  gown.  Wedding  breakfasts— 
really  lunch— may  follow.  In  some  parts  of  the  country  Protestant  weddings 
sometimes  do  take  place  at  noon,  that  is,  fully  formal  weddings  with  a  bride 
in  full  bridal  array  and  the  groom  and  his  attendants  in  cutaways. 


»$ 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 


ENGRAVING   AND    STATIONERY   FOR   WEDDING   INVITATIONS 
AND    ANNOUNCEMENTS 

It  is  far  better  to  write  personal  letters  or  inform  your  friends  of  your  mar- 
riage by  phone  than  to  have  your  invitations  and  announcements  printed, 
rather  than  properly  engraved.  Of  the  various  types  of  lettering  available, 
the  least  expensive,  and  the  most  used,  is  graceful  script.  It  costs  no  more  to 
go  to  a  really  good,  fashionable  stationer  for  your  announcements  or  invita- 
tions. There  you  will  see  styles  of  engraving  such  as  the  shaded,  or  shaded 
antique,  Roman  currently  in  vogue.  There  are  slight  variations  from  time  to 
time,  but  essentially  the  engraving  procedure  is  rigidly  conventional.  Do  it 
right,  or  don't  do  it  at  all. 

paper  and  envelopes  Use  the  best  paper  you  can  afford  for  announcements 
or  invitations.  People  do  look  at  the  quality  of  paper,  and  many  inspect  the 
envelopes  to  see  the  name  of  the  stationer  from  whom  you  ordered.  The 
name  of  a  good  stationer  embossed  under  the  flap  of  the  envelope  lends  a 
certain  cachet  and  costs  nothing  extra. 

The  most  distinguished  wedding  paper  is  the  traditional  ivory  or  ecru, 
but  pure  white  is  much  used,  too.  Plate-marked  papers  appear  quite  fre- 
quendy,  and  sometimes  you  see  a  fine  white  paper  with  a  warm,  almost 
imperceptible  flesh  tint.  But  the  icy  blue  and  pale  pink  papers  sometimes 
offered— and  by  good  stationers,  too— do  get  away  too  radically,  I  feel,  from 
the  traditional  bridal  white  or  ivory.  However,  I  never  could  understand, 
either,  why  a  bride  would  want  to  wear  a  bridal  gown  in  one  of  these  pastel 
colors,  as  is  sometimes  done. 

Needless  to  say,  the  engraving  is  always  in  black  and  on  the  first  page  of 
the  double  sheet.  If  the  bride's  family  has  a  coat  of  arms,  a  small  crest,  shield, 
and  motto  may  be  embossed— not  die-stamped— in  color  as  on  ordinary  sta- 
tionery at  the  top  of  the  first  page.  However,  this  is  not  done  if  a  woman, 
alone,  makes  the  announcement  or  issues  the  invitation.  If  the  bride's  family 
has  no  coat  of  arms,  she  may  not  use  the  crest  of  her  husband-to-be  until 
they  are  actually  married,  but,  even  then,  if  her  family  issues  announcements, 
the  husband's  device  may  not  be  used  on  them,  although  the  bride's  family's 
may  be  (see  "Heraldry").  If  the  couple  themselves  make  the  announce- 
ment, the  husband's  full  coat  of  arms  may  be  embossed. 

Two  envelopes  are  usually  used  for  wedding  invitations  and  announce- 
ments, although  only  one  may  be.  Where  two  envelopes  are  used,  the  inside 
one  is  unsealed  (and  must  not  be  gummed),  and  is  placed  in  the  outer  en- 
velope so  that  it  faces  the  flap.  Tissue  over  the  engraving  of  the  invitation 
when  furnished  by  the  stationer  for  certain  type  faces  is  left  in  place  to 
prevent  smudging. 

The  length  of  the  names,  the  style  of  lettering,  and,  in  this  case,  whether 
or  not  plate-marked  paper  will  be  used  has  much  to  do  with  the  size  of  the 
paper  you  choose.  There  are  many  acceptable  variations,  but  a  fairly  stand- 
ard size  is  seven  and  one-half  inches  by  five  and  one-half  inches  for  a  folded 

*9 


invitation  or  announcement.  Smaller  announcements  or  invitations  which 
may  be  inserted  into  the  envelopes  unfolded  are  also  correctly  used,  but  if 
reception  or  "At  Home"  cards  are  to  be  enclosed,  it  is  possible  they  may 
never  be  seen  if  the  unfolded  style  is  used. 

how  to  address  the  envelopes  The  addressing  of  wedding  invitations  and 
announcements  is  rigidly  prescribed.  Abbreviations  are  not  permitted  except 
in  "Dr.,"  "Mr.,"  "Mrs.,"  and  "Jr."  (or  "Lt."  when  combined  with  "Colonel," 
etc.),  or  in  an  initial  of  a  name  if  you  don't  know  it  in  full.  The  names  of 
cities  and  states  are  written  out.  When  an  invitation  or  announcement  is 
being  mailed  in  the  same  city  as  that  in  which  the  wedding  is  taking  or  has 
taken  place,  the  name  of  the  state  does  not  appear.  For  instance : 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Cedric  Moore  Mcintosh 

1886  Shore  Road 

Chicago 

Where  there  are  several  members  of  a  family  to  be  invited,  avoid  the 
phrase  "and  family."  On  the  inside  envelope  is  written: 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Mcintosh 

(no  christian  name) 

Belinda  and  Gordon 

(if  the  children  are  under  age) 

But  if  there  is  an  adult  daughter  or  other  woman  in  the  household  you 
wish  to  invite,  she  must  receive  a  separate  invitation: 

Miss  Margaret  Mcintosh 

1886  Shore  Road 

Chicago 

The  inside  envelope  reads: 

Miss  Mcintosh  ' 

If  there  are  two  sisters  write: 

The  Misses  Agnes  and  Ann  Mcintosh  (or  Misses  Agnes  and  Ann  Mc- 
intosh) and  on  the  inside  envelope  The  Misses  Mcintosh  (or  Misses  Mcin- 
tosh) with  no  address,  of  course,  on  the  inner  one. 

Two  grown  sons  (over  eighteen)  receive  one  invitation  if  they  live  at 
the  same  address.  They  are  addressed  as: 

The  Messrs.  Keith  and  Ian  Mcintosh  (or  Messrs.  Keith  and  Ian  Mcintosh) 
with  simply  The  Messrs.  Mcintosh  (or  Messrs.  Mcintosh)  inside. 

return  addresses  It  is  certainly  convenient  to  have  a  return  address  on  a  wed- 
ding announcement  or  invitation,  but  this  should  not  be  engraved  or  printed 
on  the  flap,  though  it  may  be  embossed  or,  if  essential  in  some  cases,  neatly 
written  on  the  flap. 

stamps  The  dignity  of  a  wedding  invitation  or  announcement,  it  almost  goes 
without  saying,  requires  first-class  postage.  Stamps  should  be  placed  care- 

30 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

fully,  not  stuck  on  any  way  at  all.  The  necessarily  careful  addressing  and 
stamping  of  the  envelopes  requires  that  the  work  be  started  before  the  bride 
or  her  family  is  worn  out  by  bridal  preparations. 

penmanship  It  is  also  traditional  for  the  handwriting  (in  black  ink)  on  the 
envelopes  of  wedding  invitations  and  announcements  to  be  obviously  femi- 
nine and,  if  possible,  of  the  rounded,  clear,  English  style  affected  by  social 
secretaries.  The  address,  of  course,  may  never  be  typed.  If  no  social  secretary 
is  used  for  a  large  wedding,  friends  or  relatives  may  be  called  on  to  help,  but 
if  more  than  one  person  does  the  addressing,  the  handwritings  should  be  as 
similar  as  possible. 


WORDING    OF    FORMAL    INVITATIONS    AND    ANNOUNCEMENTS 

INVITATION  TO  CHURCH  CEREMONY 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley 

request  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of  their  daughter 

Penelope 

to 

Mr.  George  Frank  Carpenter 

on  Friday,  the  ninth  of  June 

One  thousand  nine  hundred  and  fifty 

at  twelve  o'clock 

Saint  Mary's  Church 

San  Francisco 

Mention  of  the  year  is  optional  on  an  invitation  but  obligatory  on  the 
announcement  of  the  marriage.  The  word  "honour"  is  always  spelled  in  the 
old  way.  The  phrase  "honour  of  your  presence"  is  always  used  for  invitations 
to  the  church.  No  R.  S.  V.  P.  (optional  abbreviation  R.s.v.p.)  is  used  where 
the  invitation  is  for  the  church  ceremony  alone.  The  Reception  Cards,  if  any, 
carry  the  R.  S.  V.  P.,  even  for  a  wedding  tea  if  desired,  although  invitations 
to  tea  do  not  normally  require  a  reply. 

In  a  large  city  where  there  are  many  churches  and  the  one  where  the 
marriage  is  taking  place  is  not  in  the  category  of  a  landmark,  the  church 
address  is  engraved  under  the  name  of  the  church  in  this  way: 

Emmanuel  Church 

1122  South  Moore  Street 

Denver 

If  the  street  number  in  the  invitation  or  announcement  is  short,  it  should 
be  written  out— "Five"  or  "Sixteen." 

The  time  of  the  ceremony,  traditionally  on  the  hour  or  on  the  half  hour, 
is  usually  written  out.  If  it  is  to  be  on  the  half  hour  the  wording  reads  "at 

3i 


half  after  four"  or  sometimes  "at  half  past  four."  If  the  ceremony  is  on  the 
quarter  hour,  the  wording  is  "at  quarter  before  four"  or  "at  quarter  past 
four." 

The  word  "junior"  is  written  without  a  capital,  but  it  now  is  abbreviated 
more  often  than  not,  just  as  "Doctor"  is.  But  then  it  is  "Jr."  with  a  capital 
"J."  With  certain  engraving— London  script— it  is  usually  abbreviated  as 
"Jun."  and  numerals  are  used  for  the  date  and  time  of  the  ceremony. 

Sometimes  the  "On"  is  omitted  so  that  an  invitation  may  read  "Friday,  the 
ninth  of  June,"  but  simplification  of  the  form  reduces  its  dignity. 

the  gikl  with  the  same  name  as  her  mother  If  a  girl  has  the  same  name  as 
her  mother  and  has  for  convenience's  sake  been  known  as  Helen  Preston, 
second,  she  does  not  use  this  appellation  in  her  wedding  invitations  or  an- 
nouncements, since  her  mother's  name,  as  it  must  be  used  in  the  form,  could 
not  possibly  be  confused  with  her  daughter's. 

the  divorced  mother's  invitation  If  her  mother  is  divorced  such  an  an- 
nouncement reads: 

Mrs.  Fenwick  Kingsley 

(the  mother's  maiden  name  plus  that  of  her  divorced  husband) 

requests  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of  her  daughter 

Penelope 

etc. 

when  the  parents  are  legally  separated  Invitations  and  announcements 
are  in  the  name  of  the  parent  (or  relative)  with  whom  the  bride  lives— 
usually  the  mother  who  must  use  her  husband's  name,  i.e.  Mrs.  John 
Kingsley,  not  Mrs.  Ada  Kingsley. 

the  remarried  mother's  invitation  If  the  bride's  mother,  widowed  or  di- 
vorced, has  remarried,  the  invitation  may  read: 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Roderick  Merrill 

request  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of  her  daughter 

Penelope  Kingsley 

(Sometimes  this  reads  "at  the  marriage  of  Mrs.  Merrill's  daughter.") 

It  is  considered  less  awkward  if  a  remarried  woman  issues  the  invitation 
to  her  daughter's  wedding  in  her  name  alone,  as: 

Mrs.  Roderick  Merrill 

requests  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of  her  daughter 

etc. 

when  the  father  or  others  issue  the  invitation  If  the  daughter  after  her 
parents'  divorce  has  made  her  home  with  her  father,  her  grandmother,  her 
aunt,  brother,  or  other  relative  or  guardian,  the  person  whose  home  it  is 
makes  the  announcement  jointly  with  his  or  her  spouse.  For  example: 

32 


PART   ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 


Commander  and  Mrs.  Charles  Simonson 

request  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of  her  grand-daughter 

etc. 


or: 


The  Reverend  and  Mrs.  Myron  Cyrus  Kingsley 

request  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of  their  sister 

Penelope  Kingsley 

In  this  form  the  bride's  last  name  is  used  to  show  she  is  Mr.,  not  Mrs- 
Kingsley 's  sister. 

If  the  bride's  brother  is  unmarried  and  he  issues  the  invitation,  it  reads: 

The  Reverend  Myron  Cyrus  Kingsley 

requests  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of  his  sister 

etc. 

If  the  bride's  father  is  a  widower  he  issues  the  invitation.  Also  if  he  is  a 
divorce  and  his  daughter  has  lived  with  him,  he  issues  the  invitation,  al- 
though he  may  choose  to  do  the  more  graceful  thing  and  permit  the  bride's 
mother  to  do  so  for  the  sake  of  convention,  even  if  she  and  her  daughter 
rarely  see  each  other.  An  invitation  from  a  father  alone  reads: 

Dr.  Grant  Kingsley  (or  doctor) 

requests  the  honour  of  your  presence 
at  the  marriage  of  his  daughter 
etc. 

If  the  bride's  sister  is  issuing  the  invitations  they  read: 

Miss  Cordelia  Kingsley 

requests  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of  her  sister 

Penelope  Kingsley 

Only  if  the  wedding  is  being  given  by  a  close  relative  is  the  relationship 
shown  in  the  invitation.  If  cousins,  friends,  or  a  guardian  issue  the  invita- 
tion, the  connection  is  not  shown. 

double  wedding  of  sisters     In  a  double  wedding  if  the  brides  are  sisters,  the 
elder  sister  is  mentioned  first  and  the  invitation  reads: 


33 


Dr.  and  Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley 

request  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of  their  daughters 

Penelope 

to 

Mr.  George  Frank  Carpenter 

and 

Felicia 

to 

Mr.  Amos  Reynolds 

etc. 

double  wedding  of  cousins  or  friends     If  the  brides  are  cousins  or  just  friends, 
the  invitation  could  read: 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley 

and 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Claude  Roen 

request  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of  their  daughters 

Penelope  Kingsley 

to 

Mr.  George  Frank  Carpenter 

and 

Marie  Rose  Roen 

to 

Mr.  Gregory  Pardee 

Here  the  older  bride  is  mentioned  first,  with  her  parents,  but  when  the 
brides  are  more  or  less  the  same  age  the  order  is  alphabetical.  However, 
when  there  is  a  great  difference  in  age  between  the  two  groups  of  parents 
or  if,  for  example,  one  bride's  invitations  are  issued  by  her  grandparents,  it 
is  the  older  sponsors  who  take  the  precedence.  Tided  parents,  too,  take  pre- 
cedence  over  non-titled  ones  in  an  invitation  to  a  double  wedding.  While 
such  an  announcement  as  this  is  possible,  it  is  more  probable  that  each 
bride  would  prefer  to  have  her  own  invitation,  even  for  a  double  wedding. 
Separate  invitations  also  make  reception  acceptances  simple  to  handle.  It  is 
possible  to  indicate  a  double  wedding  by  engraving  the  two  separate  invita- 
tions, vis-a-vis  on  the  inside  of  the  double  sheet. 

WEDDING  GIVEN  BY  THE  GROOm's  FAMILY 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Perry  Coates 

request  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of 

Miss  Laura  Lee  Mercer" 

to  their  son 

Mr.  Trimble  Coates 

etc. 

*The  "Miss"  is  used  when  the  givers  of  the  wedding  are  not  relatives. 

34 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

The  circumstances  would  have  to  be  very  special  indeed  for  the  wedding 
to  be  given  by  the  groom's  family— and  those  circumstances  very  well  under- 
stood by  intimate  friends  of  both  the  bride  and  the  groom.  To  give  remote 
examples,  if  the  families  were  old  friends  or  distantly  related  or  if  the  bride's 
home  were  far  from  the  city  in  which  the  wedding  is  to  take  place  and  her 
own  parents  could  not  be  with  her,  then  she  might  properly  accept  her 
future  mother-in-law's  invitation  that  the  wedding  be  given  at  the  groom's 
home.  But  she  should  never  flout  convention  and  suggest  such  a  thing.  And 
unless  she  is  very  sure  of  her  welcome  in  the  family  she  would  be  better 
off  with  a  quiet  church  or  registry  ceremony  and  no  attempt  at  a  formal 
reception.  Instead,  she  might  ask  the  witnesses,  if  any,  to  the  home  of  a  close 
friend,  if  she  has  one  nearby,  who  might  act  as  hostess  for  anything  from 
sherry  and  biscuits  to  breakfast,  tea,  or  champagne,  depending  on  the  hour 
of  the  ceremony.  Or,  if  she  has  an  apartment  of  her  own,  she  can  have  any 
unpretentious  breakfast,  tea,  or  reception  she  can  manage  herself,  acting  as 
her  own  hostess— just  as  she  may,  if  she  wishes,  under  modern  convention, 
issue  her  own  engraved  invitations. 

the  bride  on  her  own  Occasionally  a  young  bride  has  no  close  relatives  or 
friends  to  issue  her  invitation  for  her  or  make  her  wedding  announcement. 
In  this  case,  as  with  the  older  bride  who  wishes  to  make  her  own  announce- 
ment or  issue  her  own  wedding  invitation,  the  form  reads: 

The  honour  of  your  presence 
is  requested  at  the  marriage  of 

(OR  "WEDDING  RECEPTION  OF**) 

Miss  Cordelia  Kingsley 

(note  "miss") 

to 

(or  "and") 

Mr.  Winthrop  Cass  Bowers 

etc. 

the  divorcee  The  older  woman  who  has  been  divorced  does  not  send  engraved 
wedding  invitations,  although  she  may  invite  a  few  close  friends  and  rela- 
tives to  a  small  ceremony.  She  or  her  family  may  or  may  not  send  announce- 
ments. 

the  very  young  widow  A  very  young  widow  may  have  engraved  wedding 
invitations  issued  by  her  family  or  by  herself.  If  her  family  issues  them,  they 
read: 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Sydney  Myers 

request  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of  their  daughter 

Sylvia  Ann  Kiser 

to 

etc 

35 


Here  her  late  husband's  name  is  used  with  her  given  names,  although 
some  prefer  to  use  the  clearer  form  "Sylvia  Myers  Kiser."  Note  that  she  is 
not  "Mrs.  Sylvia,"  always  an  ugly  appellation  and  which  looks  worst  of  all 
on  a  wedding  invitation. 

If  a  young  widow  is  issuing  her  own  wedding  invitation,  it  reads: 

The  honour  of  your  presence 

is  requested  at  the  marriage  of 

Mrs.  Maximillian  Georg  Kiser 

to 

etc. 

the  older  widow  We  sometimes  see  an  invitation  from  an  older  widow  in 
which  she  is  referred  to  as  "Mrs.  Catherine"  so  and  so,  the  idea  being  that 
there  may  be  some  lack  of  propriety  in  the  use  of  her  dead  husband's  name 
in  her  wedding  invitation  to  his  successor.  Throughout  her  widowhood 
there  has  been  no  impropriety  in  continuing  the  use  of  her  late  husband's 
name.  No  matter  how  long  she  remains  a  widow,  she  is,  properly,  Mrs.  John 
Jones,  not  Mrs.  Catherine  Jones.  Why,  when  she  does  remarry,  should  she 
subject  herself  to  the  indignity  of  being  "Mrs.  Catherine  Jones"  and  on  an 
engraved  invitation,  at  that!  No— let  such  an  invitation  read: 

The  pleasure  of  your  company 

is  requested  at  the  marriage  of 

Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley 

to 

etc. 

If  it  is  a  church  ceremony  the  first  line  reads,  "The  honour  of  your  pres- 
ence ..." 

If  the  widow  has  remained  reasonably  close  to  the  family  of  her  late 
husband  she  may  send  them  an  invitation  to  the  wedding.  If  she  doesn't 
choose  to  do  this,  however,  she  should  certainly  send  them  an  announcement. 


INVITATION    TO    THE    HOUSE    WEDDING 

An  invitation  to  a  house  wedding  carries  the  R.s.v.p.  (or  R.S.V.P.),  as 
a  collation  will  be  served  afterward  and  the  number  of  guests  needs  to  be 
known.  Otherwise  the  house  wedding  invitation  reads  the  same  as  the  one 
to  the  church  except  that  the  second  line  is  changed  to  "the  pleasure  of 
your  company."  The  house  address  is  used  in  place  of  the  name  of  the 
church: 

at 
1339  Belmont  Terrace 
Montclair,  New  Jersey 

36 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

Or,  if  the  wedding  will  take  place  in  a  home  in  a  large  city  the  address 
reads: 

at 
1125  Park  Avenue 

New  York  (without  the  state) 

If  the  wedding,  with  its  reception,  takes  place  in  a  club  or  hotel,  it  is  indi- 
cated in  this  way  that  the  R.s.v.p.  is  sent  to  the  bride's  home: 

at 
The  Ritz  Carlton 
New  York 
R.s.v.p. 
1125  Park  Avenue 


WEDDING   AT    FRIEND'S    HOME 

When  the  wedding  itself  is  held,  for  some  reason,  in  the  home  of  friends,  the 
invitation  is  in  the  name  of  the  bride's  parents,  even  though  they  cannot  be 
present.  If  the  parents  are  not  living  the  bride  may  either  issue  the  invita- 
tion herself  (see  "The  Bride  on  Her  Own")  or  have  her  friends  as  sponsors 
do  so.  In  the  latter  case  the  form  is: 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Angus  Work 

request  the  pleasure  of  your  company 

at  the  marriage  of 

Miss  Penelope  Kingsley  (note  miss) 

to 

Mr.  George  Frank  Carpenter 

on  Friday,  the  ninth  of  June 

One  thousand  nine  hundred  and  fifty-two 

at  four  o'clock 

600  Rose  Lane 

Waco,  Texas 

R.  S.  V.  P. 


COMBINING    INVITATION    TO    CHURCH    CEREMONY    AND    RECEPTION 

If  all  those  at  the  ceremony  are  to  be  invited  to  the  reception  the  wedding 
invitation  may  read  as  follows  and  no  reception  card  is  necessary: 

3? 


Dr.  and  Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley 

request  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of  their  daughter 

Penelope 

to 

Mr.  George  Frank  Carpenter 

on  Friday,  the  ninth  of  June 

One  thousand  nine  hundred  and  fifty 

at  twelve  o'clock 

Saint  Mary's  Church 

San  Francisco 

and  afterward  at 

"The  Gulls" 

Belvedere 

R.s.v.p.     (or,  less  usually,  "the  favour  [note  spelling]  of  a  reply  is 

REQUESTED.") 


PEW    CARDS    AND   TRAIN    CARDS 

Today  it  is  fairly  rare  for  an  invitation  to  include  either  a  train  card  or  a 
pew  card.  If  pews  are  to  be  allocated  it  is  preferable  that  pew  numbers  not 
appear  on  the  invitation  but  for  purposes  of  efficiency  be  given  out  after 
acceptances  are  received.  It  is  much  more  usual  for  the  bride's  mother  and 
the  groom's  mother  to  send  their  visiting  cards  along  with  the  wedding  invi- 
tation to  those  special  friends  and  relatives  they  wish  to  seat  in  reserved 
sections  "Within  the  Ribbons"— bride's  section  (one  or  two  pews)  to  the 
left,  groom's  to  the  right.  Such  a  card  would  read: 

Groom's  Reserved  Section   (handwriting— black  ink) 
Mrs.  Norman  Snowden  Carpenter 

A  train  card  makes  sense  if  a  private  car  has  been  reserved  to  take  guests 
from  a  main  point  to  arid  from  the  wedding.  Then  the  card  is  enclosed  in 
those  invitations  going  to  guests  likely  to  go  by  train,  and  they,  in  turn, 
present  it  to  the  conductor  in  lieu  of  a  ticket.  Otherwise,  it  is  expedient 
merely  to  enclose  a  regular  train  schedule  for  such  guests  and  let  them  make 
their  own  arrangements.  A  train  card,  if  used,  may  read: 

A  SPECIAL   CAR   WILL   BE   ATTACHED   TO   TRAIN   LEAVING   GRAND   CENTRAL 
STATION  AT  3:01  P.M.    FOR  STAMFORD.   TRAIN  RETURNS   FROM  STAMFORD 
AT    6:35    P.M. 
PLEASE  PRESENT  THIS  CARD  TO  THE  CONDUCTOR 

For  a  country  or  suburban  home  wedding  the  kind  of  rustic  map  often 
printed  for  the  assistance  of  guests  coming  by  car  may  be  reproduced  on  a 
card  of  the  same  stock  used  in  the  invitation  and  be  enclosed  with  it. 

38 


PART    ONE      THE   CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 


CHURCH    CARDS 

Only  at  very  large  and  fashionable  weddings  in  big  churches  ordinarily 
filled  with  sight-seers  is  it  sometimes  necessary  to  have  church  cards.  They 
should  be  without  the  crest,  shield,  or  motto,  if  the  device  is  used  on  the 
invitation,  and  should  be  engraved  in  the  same  manner  as  the  invitation 
and  on  the  same  stock.  They  mean  that  the  church  has  been  closed  to  the 
public  for  the  period  of  the  ceremony  and  only  bearers  of  the  cards  will  be 
admitted.  Such  cards  read: 


Please  present  this  card 

at  St.  Patrick's  Cathedral 

Wednesday,  the  first  of  March 

Note  that  here  it  is  usual  to  abbreviate  "Saint." 


THE  RECEPTION  CARD 

When  not  all  those  attending  the  wedding  are  to  be  invited  to  the  reception 
a  reception  card  of  the  same  stock  as  the  invitation  and  about  half  the  size 
is  included  with  its  tissue.  It  should  not  bear  a  crest,  shield,  or  motto  and 
may  read: 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley 

request  the  pleasure  of  your  company 

at  the  wedding  breakfast 

following  the  ceremony 

at 

"The  Gulls" 

Belvedere 

R.s.v.p. 

Note  "pleasure  of  your  company,"  as  this  is  now  a  social  occasion. 

When  the  reception  is  to  be  held  in  the  home  of  friends  the  card  reads: 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley 

request  the  pleasure  of  your  company 

at  the  wedding  breakfast 

following  the  ceremony 

at  the  home  of 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Curtis  Piatt 

Turkey  Hill  Road 

Belvedere 

The  favour  of  a  reply  is  requested  to 

"The  Gulls,"  Belvedere         (the  bride's  home) 

If  a  mother  or  father,  alone,  issues  the  wedding  invitation,  the  reception 

39 


card  must  include  the  name  of  the  spouse,  if  the  divorced  or  widowed  parent 
has  remarried.  A  reception  card  bears  the  name  of  host  and  hostess. 


JTHE    SEPARATE    RECEPTION    INVITATION 

Sometimes  an  invitation  to  the  wedding  reception  is  engraved  on  the  same 
kind  of  double  sheet  usually  used  for  the  wedding  invitation.  This  is  useful 
where  there  may  be  only  an  intimate  wedding  ceremony,  for  which  no 
engraved  invitations  may  be  issued,  followed  by  a  large  reception.  Such  an 
invitation  reads: 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley 

request  the  pleasure  of  your  company 

at  the  wedding  breakfast  of  their  daughter 

Penelope 

and  (note  the   'and") 

Mr.  George  Frank  Carpenter 

on  Friday,  the  ninth  of  June 

at  one  o'clock 

"The  Gulls" 

Belvedere 

R.s.v.p. 


WEDDING   ANNOUNCEMENTS 

Wedding  announcements,  as  previously  noted,  are  sent  only  to  those  not 
invited  to  the  wedding.  They  read: 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley 

have  the  honour  of  announcing 

(or  have  the  honour  to  announce) 

the  marriage  of  their  daughter 

Penelope 

to 

Mr.  George  Frank  Carpenter 

on  Friday,  the  ninth  of  June 

One  thousand  nine  hundred  and  fifty 

(must  give  year) 

Saint  Mary's  Church 

(optional  to  mention) 

San  Francisco 

the  divorcee's  announcement     If  a  divorcee  is  young,  her  parents  issue  the 
announcement  of  her  wedding: 

40 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Sidney  Myers 
have  the  honour  of  announcing 
the  marriage  of  their  daughter 
Sylvia  Ann  Kiser 
to 
etc. 
If  she  is  mature,  the  divorcee  may  issue  her  own  announcement,  in  con- 
junction with  her  husband: 

Mrs.  Myers  Kiser 

and 
Mr.  Kurt  Samuels 
etc. 
remarriage  of  divorced  persons  to  each  other     Occasionally  people  who 
have  been  divorced  eventually  remarry  each  other.  When  this  occurs,  no  for- 
mal announcements  are  sent  out,  but  friends  are  informed  of  the  good  news 
by  word  of  mouth,  by  letter,  and  by  telegram.  No  formal  announcements 
are  released  to  the  press.  In  such  instances,  often  children  are  involved,  so 
the  reunion  of  the  couple  should  be  made  almost  as  if  the  schism  had  never 
existed. 

AT    HOME    CARDS 

"At  Home"  cards  are  often  in  wedding  announcements,  less  often  in  invita- 
tions to  weddings  and  receptions.  They  give  the  new  address  of  the  couple. 
Smaller  than  the  reception  card,  they  are,  however,  of  the  same  style  as  it, 
with  abbreviations  and  without  a  coat  of  arms  or  a  lozenge  (see  "Heraldry"). 
They  carry  the  correct  postal  address  in  detail: 

At  Home         (or  this  may  be  omitted) 

after  the  first  of  August 

(capital  "a"  for  "after"  if  first  line  is  omitted) 

10  Washington  Square,  South 

New  York,  11,  New  York 

INVITATIONS    TO    INFORMAL    WEDDINGS 

A  small  wedding  does  not  require  engraved  invitations— in  fact,  they  may 
seem  pretentious.  Instead,  the  mother  of  the  bride  may  write  short  notes 
of  invitation,  telegraph  or  phone  the  relatives  and  friends  who  are  to  be  in- 
vited to  the  ceremony  or  the  reception  or  both. 

If  the  bride's  mother  is  dead  her  father  or  some  close  relative,  preferably 
an  aunt  or  grandmother,  issues  the  invitations.  Or  she  may  even  issue  them 
herself  if  she  has  no  close  relatives.  Often,  after  such  informal  weddings, 
engraved  announcements  are  sent  to  friends  and  relatives  at  a  distance,  but 
never  to  those  who  have  been  invited  to  the  ceremony  or  the  reception.  An 
informal  invitation  to  a  wedding  may  be  phoned— or  it  may  be  written  on  the 
household's  conservative  notepaper,  in  blue  or  black  ink,  this  way: 

4i 


"The  Beaches" 
Meriden,  Connecticut 
April  6,  1952 
Dear  Marion, 

Faith  is  being  married  here  at  home  to  Ronald  Ward,  Saturday,  April  22, 
at  four-thirty.  We  do  hope  you  will  be  with  us  and  will  be  able  to  stay  for 
tea,  afterwards. 

As  ever, 
Helen 

For  such  an  invitation,  just  such  a  short  note,  giving  the  time  and  place  of 
the  ceremony  or,  if  the  invitation  is  being  issued  only  for  the  reception,  the 
time  and  place  of  the  reception  is  all  that  is  necessary,  and  it  is  taken  for 
granted  that  the  invitation  will  be  promptly  answered.  Informal  invitations 
may  be  sent  on  very  short  notice,  if  necessary,  but  the  usual  two  weeks  in 
advance,  as  for  ordinary  social  invitations,  is  customary. 

reply  to  an  informal  wedding  invitation  A  reply  to  an  informal  wedding 
invitation  is  sent  immediately,  usually  in  the  form  in  which  it  was  received. 
If  it  was  a  telegram  and  the  time  before  the  ceremony  is  short  a  wire  goes 
in  reply.  If  the  invitation  came  by  phone  or  note  a  reply  by  either  means  is 
correct.  In  phoning  an  acceptance  the  recipient  asks  to  speak  to  the  sender 
of  the  invitation  or,  if  someone  responsible  answers  the  phone,  leaves  the 
message,  "Mr.  and  Mrs.  Wainwright  accept  Mrs.  Samuel's  invitation  to  Miss 
Consuela's  wedding  on  the  fifteenth."  A  note  in  reply  would  read: 

Tuesday 
Dear  Lenore, 

We  are  so  happy  about  Consuela's  forthcoming  marriage  and  are  delighted 
to  be  included.  We'll  drive  over  and  will  stay  at  the  Inn  where  I  have 
already  made  reservations.  Until  Saturday  week. 

Love, 
Maud 


INVITATIONS    TO   THOSE    IN    MOURNING 

People  in  mourning  are  included  in  the  wedding  invitation  list,  and  even  if 
they  are  in  deep  mourning,  may  accept  just  as  they  would  attend  church 
services  or  continue  to  sing  in  the  choir.  If  their  bereavement  had  been  very 
recent,  they  might  attend  the  wedding  but  not  the  reception,  always  a  gay 
social  function.  It  is  even  possible  for  one  in  mourning  to  be  in  the  bridal 
party.  If  she's  a  bridesmaid  she  dresses  exactly  as  the  rest,  and  a  mourning 
usher  or  best  man  never  wears  a  band  on  his  sleeve.  All  the  attendants  are 
considered  to  be  in  wedding  uniform,  their  own  problems  and  personalities 
subjugated  for  the  day  they  are  in  the  service  of  the  bride  and  groom.  This 
is  understood  by  everyone,  and  only  if  bereavement  has  been  very  recent 
and  very  close  is  it  sometimes  necessary  for  an  attendant  to  ask  to  be  ex-. 

42 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 


cused,  not  because  of  possible  criticism,  but  because  his  own  obvious  sorrow 
might  cast  a  shadow  on  the  happy  day. 

MILITARY    AND    NAVAL   FORMS    FOR    WEDDING    INVITATIONS 
AND    ANNOUNCEMENTS 

If  officers  are  of  the  Army  and  Navy  Reserve  it  is  only  when  they  are  on 
active  duty  that  they  use  their  titles  on  wedding  invitations  and  announce- 
ments. Otherwise,  they  are  "Mr."  It  is  modern  to  abbreviate  the  titles,  just 
as  "Dr."  is  more  often  than  not  abbreviated.  If  the  following  form  is  used, 
the  title  is  usually  written  out: 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley 

request  the  honour  of  your  presence 

at  the  marriage  of  their  daughter 

Cordelia  Kingsley 

to 

Winthrop  Cass  Bowers 

Lieutenant  United  States  Army         (no  comma) 

regular  officer  u.  s.  army  Or,  where  the  officer's  rank  is  Captain  or  above  in 
the  Army  (or  senior  lieutenant  or  better  in  the  Navy)  the  title  appears  first: 

Capt.  (or  captain)  Winthrop  Cass  Bowers 
United  States  Army 

In  either  case  it  is  optional  to  mention  the  branch  of  service,  though  the 
regiment  is  omitted.  It  may  read: 

Captain  Winthrop  Cass  Bowers 
Artillery,  United  States  Army 

(OR,  UNITED  STATES  ATR  FORCE ) 

reserve  officer  active  duty  For  a  Reserve  Officer  on  active  duty  the  phrase 
"United  States  Army"  changes  to  "Army  of  the  United  States." 

Non-commissioned  officers  and  enlisted  men  often  prefer  to  use  only  their 
names,  with  the  branch  of  service  immediately  below: 

Wilson  Ford  (note,  not  "mr.") 

United  States  Marine  Corps 
but 

Wilson  Ford 
Staff  Sergeant  United  States  Marine  Corps 

is  correct,  too. 

retired  regular  army  and  navy  officers  High-ranking  Army  and  Navy 
officers  retired  from  regular  service  keep  their  titles  in  civilian  life.  Their 
names  on  wedding  invitations,  announcements  and  engraved  forms  read: 

43 


Commodore  Vincent  Ludlow  Bird 

United  States  Navy,  Retired  (note  comma) 

or 

Lt.  General  Packard  Deems 
United  States  Marine  Corps,  Retired 

retired  or  inactive  reserve  officers  Do  not  use  their  former  titles,  socially 
or  otherwise. 

the  bride  in  military  service  Uses  her  military  title  in  wedding  invita- 
tions and  announcements  with  the  identifying  branch  of  the  service  as  do 
men  in  service  (see  page  43).  When  she  is  marrying  a  man  in  the  armed 
forces,  the  service  appears  beneath  each  title. 

RECALLING    WEDDING    INVITATIONS 

If  after  wedding  invitations  have  been  sent  out  the  wedding  is  called  off, 
guests  must  be  informed  as  soon  as  possible.  They  may  be  sent  notes,  tele- 
grams, printed  or  engraved  cards  (when  there  is  time  for  the  engraving). 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley 

announce  that  the  marriage  of  their  daughter 

Penelope 

to 

Mr.  George  Knapp  Carpenter 

will  not  take  place 

A  telegram  is  signed  by  those  who  issued  the  invitation.  It  would  read, 
"The  marriage  of  our  daughter  Penelope  to  Mr.  George  Knapp  Carpenter 
will  not  take  place.  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley."  A  telegram  to  a  close 
relative  would  be  less  formally  worded  and  carry  the  familiar  signature. 

RETURNING    ENGAGEMENT    AND    WEDDING    GIFTS 

When  an  engagement  is  broken  or  a  wedding  does  not  take  place,  the 
gifts  must  be  returned  to  all  senders  with  tactful  notes  of  explanation.  Only 
when  the  prospective  groom  has  died  is  it  proper  for  the  girl  to  keep 
wedding  gifts— and  then  only  if  she  is  strongly  urged  to  do  so,  in  some 
cases,  by  a  donor  whose  gift  may  have  a  sentimental  rather  than  monetary 
value.  She  would  not  keep  gifts  intended  for  a  joint  household  that  will 
never  be.  If  a  wedding  has  been  postponed  for  any  reason,  gifts  are  not 
returned  unless  after  reasonable  length  of  time  the  marriage  still  does  not 
take  place.  In  the  event  that  the  marriage  lasts  a  brief  time,  the  gifts  legally 
belong  equally  to  both.  Socially,  however,  it  has  been  customary  to  allot  all 
wedding  gifts  to  the  bride  except  those  explicitly  given  to  the  groom.  They 
are  not  returned  to  the  senders  unless,  perhaps,  they  have  not  been  opened 
and  used. 

POSTPONING    WEDDINGS 

If  a  wedding  is  postponed  and  a  new  date  has  been  set  guests  may  be 
informed  by  telegram  or  sent  a  new  printed  invitation  done  in  the  style  of 
the  original  engraved  one.  It  reads: 

44 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 


Dr.  and  Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley 

announce  that  the  marriage  of  their  daughter 

Penelope 

to 

Mr.  George  Frank  Carpenter 

has  been  postponed  from 

Friday,  the  ninth  of  June 

until 

Friday,  the  eighth  of  September 

at  noon 

St.  Mary's  Church 

San  Francisco 


H£PLYING    TO    WEDDING    INVITATIONS 

Formal,  engraved  invitations  to  a  church  wedding  do  not  require  answering. 
But  if  a  reception  card  is  included  or  if  a  separate  invitation  to  the  recep- 
tion is  received,  then  one  answers  in  the  traditional  form  in  response  to 
the  R.s.v.p.  on  the  lower  left  of  the  card  or  invitation.  The  reply  is  written 
in  longhand  on  one's  best  conservative  notepaper  in  blue  or  black  ink  with 
the  wording  and  its  spacing  taking  the  form  of  engraving.  An  acceptance 
reads  (as  it  does  for  any  engraved  invitation): 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Morrow  Truitt 

accept  with  pleasure 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Kingsley's 

kind  invitation  for 

Friday,  the  ninth  of  June 

at  noon 

A  regret  follows  the  same  form  (but  see  acceptable  alternative  below). 
It  reads: 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Morrow  Truitt 

regret  that  they  are  unable  to  accept 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Kingsley's 

kind  invitation  for 
Friday,  the  ninth  of  June 

A  more  detailed  regret  states  "why"  in  this  way: 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Morrow  Truitt 

regret  (or  regret  exceedingly)  that 

their  absence  from  the  city 

(or  a  previous  engagement) 

prevents  their  accepting 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Kingsley's 

etc. 

45 


In  each  case,  of  course,  the  envelope  is  addressed,  for  the  reply,  to  Dr. 
and  Mrs.  Grant  Kingsley,  using  the  names  exactly  as  they  appear  in  the 
invitation. 

The  wedding  may  be  that  of  your  most  intimate  friend  or  of  your  closest 
relative,  but  if  you  have  received  an  engraved  invitation  you  answer  it  in 
formal  style. 

In  an  acceptance  it  is  well  to  repeat  the  hour  but  optional  to  repeat  the 
full  details  of  the  invitation.  But  the  simple  form  given  is  acceptable  in  all 
cases  except  that  of  a  "regret"  to  the  White  House  (see  "White  House 
Etiquette").  If  the  full  form  is  used  in  an  acceptance  most  of  the  wording 
in  the  invitation  is  repeated: 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Morrow  Truitt 

accept  with  pleasure 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Kingsley 's 

(OR  DR.  AND  MRS.   GRANT  KINGSLEY's) 

kind  invitation  to 

the  wedding  breakfast  of  their  daughter 

Penelope 

and 

Mr.  George  Frank  Carpenter 

at  one  o'clock 

"The  Gulls,"  Belvedere 

A  fully  written  out  regret  does  not  repeat  the  place  or  the  hour,  merely 
the  date. 

It  is  always  a  great  compliment  to  receive  a  wedding  invitation.  As  I  have 
said,  it  never  requires  an  answer  unless  it  includes  an  invitation  to  the 
reception,  but  it  is  a  gracious  thing  for  the  recipient  to  write  the  person 
to  whom  he  feels  indebted  for  the  invitation— the  bride's  mother,  father,  the 
bride  herself,  or  the  groom  or  his  family— about  his  happiness  at  the  forth- 
coming event.  Such  a  letter,  as  it  is  not  in  direct  reply  to  the  invitation, 
which  needs  none,  is  couched  in  the  usual  social  form,  not  in  the  third 
person.  It  might  read: 

Honolulu 
April  8 
Dear  Jack,  (to  the  groom) 

It  was  wonderful  to  get  the  impressive  news  of  the  wedding.  I'd  give  a 
lot  to  be  there,  as  you  and  Alice  know,  but  I  shall  drink  a  toast  to  your 
happiness  on  that  day  and  hope  for  a  quick  trip  to  the  States  soon,  so  I  may 
enjoy  the  sight  of  you  at  home  together  at  last. 

With  warmest  regards  to  you  both, 
Burt 

Of  course,  engraved  wedding  invitations  are  expensive,  and,  if  they  must 
be  limited  for  economy's  sake,  some  who  should  receive  them,  such  as 

46 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

brother  George  in  Cincinnati  or  the  members  of  the  bridal  party,  who 
would  certainly  like  to  keep  them  in  their  memory  books,  may  have  to  be 
satisfied  with  their  oral  or  written  invitations.  It  is  safer  to  omit  the  younger 
than  the  older  generations,  since  the  latter  are  more  likely  to  feel  slighted 
if  they  are  not  treated  to  all  the  formality  connected  with  the  event,  rela- 
tives or  no. 


RECALLING    A    FORMAL    ACCEPTANCE 

If  you  have  accepted  an  engraved  wedding  invitation  and  then  something 
occurs  that  makes  it  impossible  for  you  to  attend,  you  may  write  a  formal 
regret,  send  a  telegram,  or  telephone  your  excuses,  but  a  valid  excuse  must 
be  given.  You  certainly  may  not  back  out  of  an  accepted  invitation  because 
a  more  attractive  one  has  arrived.  Illness,  death  in  the  family,  or  a  sudden 
business  trip  are  acceptable  excuses.  If  you  receive  an  invitation  to  the 
White  House  for  the  same  date  as  that  of  a  formal  wedding  invitation  you  have 
already  accepted  the  White  House  invitation  takes  precedence  over  a 
social  one.  A  regret,  following  a  previous  acceptance,  may  take  this  form: 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Morrow  Truitt 

regret  that  the  sudden  illness 

of  Mrs.  Truitt 

prevents  their  attending 

the  wedding  on 
Friday,  the  ninth  of  June 

If  the  regret  is  occasioned  by  a  summons  to  the  White  House,  the  second 
and  third  lines  read: 

regret  that  an  invitation  to 

The  White  House 

etc. 


DEATH    IN   THE    FAMILY 

When  a  death  occurs  in  a  family  that  has  issued  formal  invitations  is  it 
necessary  to  recall  the  invitations?  It  certainly  used  to  be,  but  our  ideas 
have  changed  very  radically  on  the  subject  of  mourning.  Certainly  no  bride 
would  want  to  go  through  an  elaborate  wedding  ceremony  followed  by 
the  festivity  of  a  large  reception  within  a  few  days  of  her  mother's  or  father's 
death  or  of  the  sudden  death  of  the  groom's  mother,  father,  sister,  or 
brother.  The  death  of  a  very  old  person,  a  grandmother  or  grandfather, 
rarely  calls  for  the  postponement  of  a  wedding  these  days,  but  it  all  very 
much  depends  on  the  feelings  of  all  involved. 

If  after  a  family  conference  it  is  decided  to  recall  a  wedding  invitation 
because  of  a  death,  the  guests  are  notified  by  wire,  by  phone,  or,  if  there  is 
time,  by  printed  cards  in  the  same  style  as  the  invitation.  They  may  read: 

47 


Mrs  Grant  Kingsley 

regrets  that  the  death  of 

Dr.  Kingsley 

obliges  her  to  recall  the  invitations 

to  the  wedding  of  her  daughter 

(the  names  are  optional) 

Friday,  the  ninth  of  June 

Such  notification  does  not  mean,  of  course,  that  the  marriage  won't  take 
place.  It  may,  instead,  be  a  quiet  family  ceremony  on  the  original  day 
planned.  The  bride  may  even  wear  her  bridal  gown  and  have  one  attendant, 
but  without  a  crowded  church  the  full  panoply  of  bridesmaids  and  ushers 
would  be  senseless. 


CHAPTER    TWO 

ARRANGING  THE  WEDDING 


No  bride,  no  matter  how  much  her  heart  is  set  on  it,  should  go  ahead  with 
plans  for  a  formal  wedding  without  the  groom's  complete  acceptance  of  all 
it  entails.  An  elaborate  wedding  should  have  professional  management,  if 
possible,  so  the  wedding  day  doesn't  arrive  with  the  bride  harassed  and 
tearful  and  the  groom  wondering  why  he  ever  consented  to  such  a  thing. 
A  formal  wedding  is  a  beautiful  and  impressive  ceremony  if  everything 
has  been  done  on  schedule— the  gowns  delivered  on  time,  every  last  detail 
of  catering  attended  to,  and  the  bride  with  the  last  two  weeks  to  rest  as 
much  as  she  can,  although  during  this  time  there  will  be  a  rehearsal  and 
a  dinner  for  the  bridesmaids  and  ushers.  And  she  may  have  a  tea  at  which 
she  will  show  her  presents  to  close  friends,  if  the  gifts  are  not  to  be  exhibited 
at  the  reception. 


THE    VISIT   TO    THE    MINISTER 

Where  arrangements  must  be  made  for  a  religious  ceremony,  with  or  without 
the  use  of  a  church  for  the  wedding,  the  bride  and  groom  together  visit 
the  minister  and  discuss  the  hour  of  the  ceremony,  the  music,  the  kind  of 
gown  the  bride  will  wear  (very  short  sleeves  are  sometimes  not  permitted), 
and  any  church  regulations  that  must  be  fulfilled  or  local  customs  to  be 
considered. 

If  the  couple  are  Catholics  and  the  priest  they  have  chosen  does  not 


PART    ONE      THE   CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 

Know  them  they  must  present  baptismal  certificates  and  written  indication 
from  their  own  parishes  that  they  are  free  to  marry.  If  both  are  Catholics 
banns  are  proclaimed  three  successive  Sundays  or  holy  days  before  the 
wedding  in  their  own  parish  churches.  Mixed  marriages  between  Catholics 
and  non-Catholics  require  special  dispensation  and  a  period  of  preparation 
for  the  non-Catholic. 

Protestants  who  have  been  divorced  may  have  some  difficulty  marrying 
in  church,  especially  if  they  have  been  divorced  more  than  once.  Some 
ministers  make  the  distinction  that  they  will  remarry  only  the  "injured 
party"  in  a  divorce.  They  require  that  divorced  persons  present  the  cre- 
dentials permitting  their  remarriage.  In  most  states  there  are  blood  tests 
and  a  necessary  "waiting  period"  (see  the  World  Almanac)  between  the 
issuance  of  the  license  and  the  marriage.  Ministers  are  not  permitted  to 
waive  this  period.  If  it  must  be  waived  because  of  some  emergency  a  civil 
procedure  must  be  followed  before  the  marriage  can  take  place. 

Most  ministers  prefer  to  see  the  bride  and  groom  before  the  ceremony 
to  be  sure  there  is  no  impediment  to  the  union  about  to  take  place.  But 
sometimes  for  a  small  non-church  wedding,  where  the  principals  are  well 
known  to  the  clergyman,  the  mother  of  the  bride  makes  arrangements  with 
the  family's  own  clergyman  to  perform  the  marriage  on  the  day  chosen. 

CHURCH   DECORATIONS 

Decorations  in  the  church  may  be  limited  to  suitable  altar  flowers— where 
decorating  of  the  altar  is  permitted— for  a  small  wedding  or  may  be  extensive 
and  expensive,  despite  the  desired  simplicity  of  effect.  Sometimes  only  the 
aisle  posts  on  the  reserved  pews  are  decorated,  even  for  very  formal  wed- 
dings. But  a  clever  florist  can  do  impressive  things  with  boxwood,  palms, 
ferns,  and  various  available  greenery,  with  or  without  flowers— which,  if 
used,  need  not  be  white. 

canopy  and  carpet  The  canopy  from  the  curb  to  the  church  door  for  formal 
weddings  is  not  used  much  today,  but  the  church  aisle  is  often  carpeted  by 
the  florist  when  he  decorates  the  church.  Or  immediately  before  the  pro- 
cession starts  and  after  the  bride's  mother  is  seated  (and  no  one  should 
be  admitted  after  she  starts  down  the  aisle),  two  ushers  starting  in  either 
direction  roll  a  canvas  covering  down  the  aisle.  This  serves  as  a  protection 
to  the  bride's  train  and  is  left  down  until  all  the  guests  have  left.  The  florist, 
or  whoever  furnished  it,  removes  it. 

itltlM.    MUSIC 

It  is  necessary  to  discuss  the  wedding  music  with  the  officiating  clergyman 
and  the  church's  music  director,  as  various  rules  apply.  In  some  churches 
soloists  are  not  permitted,  in  others  only  rigidly  prescribed  music  may  be 
played  by  the  organists.  The  Lohengrin  Wedding  March  is  traditional  in 
the  processional— the  thrilling  "Here  Comes  the  Bride!"— with  the  Mendels- 
sohn March  from  Midsummer  Night's  Dream  for  the  recessional.  During 

49 


the  entrance  of  guests  most  churches  permit  a  wide  range  of  music,  but  it  is 
best  to  keep  to  the  accepted  classics  and  to  avoid  sentimental,  popular 
music  that  might  take  away  from  the  dignity  of  the  occasion.  Be  sure  to 
discuss  each  selection  with  the  organist,  however— don't  just  "leave  it  up  to 
him"  or  you  may  find  that  some  of  the  permitted  secular  music  is  not  up  to 
your  own  taste  at  all.  There  is  a  fee  anywhere  from  ten  to  thirty  dollars  for 
organ  music  in  church,  with  additional  ones  to  be  fixed  for  soloists  or  choir 
if  they  are  used,  too. 

THE    BRIDE'S    FORMAL    WEDDING    PICTURES 

Formal  photographs  of  the  bride  in  her  bridal  costume  are  rarely  taken  the 
day  of  the  wedding  but,  instead,  after  the  final  fitting  of  her  gown.  If  they 
are  needed  for  newspaper  reproduction  it  is  preferable  that  they  be  fur- 
nished well  in  advance  of  the  wedding  day. 

Trousseau  shops  often  arrange  for  bridal  photographs  to  be  taken  there 
before  the  gown  is  delivered.  Or  the  bride  may  have  her  picture  taken  at 
home  a  few  days  before  the  wedding.  If  the  wedding  is  in  a  church  and  it 
is  desired  to  photograph  the  ceremony,  it  is  necessary  to  get  permission  to 
do  this  from  the  clergyman  who  will  officiate  at  the  ceremony. 

A  bride  should  avoid  heavy  make-up  and,  for  her  photographs  especially, 
omit  eye  shadow,  mascara,  and  dark  lipstick.  Almost  no  make-up  at  all  pro- 
duces the  loveliest  bridal  pictures. 

PREVIOUS    MARRIAGE    OF    THE    BRIDE 

Small  weddings  are  the  rule  for  second  marriages,  with  one  attendant  for 
each  participant  to  act  as  the  necessary  witnesses.  The  bride  need  not  be 
given  away  and  receptions  are  much  simpler  and  smaller  than  those  for  a 
first  marriage.  The  bride  should  not  expect  gifts,  although  many  friends 
who  sent  them  for  her  first  marriage  may  wish  to  do  so  again. 

The  bride  who  has  been  married  before  never  wears  a  wedding  veil  nor 
does  she  wear  white.  Otherwise  she  dresses  for  the  time  of  day  and  the 
degree  of  formality  her  wedding  calls  for  and  wears  a  corsage.  Her  head 
covering  is  either  a  small  hat  or  a  flower  arrangement.  It  is  only  the  bride's 
previous  status  that  determines  whether  or  not  she  may  wear  a  wedding  veil. 

PREVIOUS    MARRIAGE    OF    THE    GROOM 

The  fact  that  the  groom  has  been  married  more  than  once  does  not  affect 
the  marriage  plans  of  his  bride  if  this  is  her  first  marriage.  If  she  is  young 
enough  she  may  wear  a  bridal  veil,  even  if  the  groom  is  much  older  than  she. 

MAIDS    AND    MATRONS    OF    HONOR    AND    BRIDESMAIDS 

The  bride  usually  chooses  a  sister  as  maid  or  matron  of  honor,  or,  if  she 
has  none,  a  close  friend.  She  may  have  both  maid  and  matron  of  honor- 
one  could  be  her  sister,  the  other  a  friend.  The  matron  of  honor  may  be  a 
widow,  but  it  is  preferable  that  she  not  be  a  divorcee  or  considerably  older 
than  the  bride— at  least  not  in  a  large  formal  wedding. 

If  the  bride  chooses  to  have  both  maid  and  matron  of  honor,  she  assigns 

50 


PART    ONE       THE   CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 

one  of  them  to  hold  her  bouquet  during  the  ceremony  and  to  adjust  her 
veil  as  she  goes  down  the  aisle  in  the  recessional.  She  precedes  the  bride, 
with  the  other  honored  one  following  the  bridesmaids  in  the  processional, 
or  maid  and  matron  may  walk  together  directly  preceding  the  bride.  In  the 
recessional,  the  bride  and  groom  lead.  If  there  are  both  matron  and  maid 
of  honor,  they  follow,  walking  together  or  with  the  elder  preceding  the 
younger  attendant,  unless  ushers  and  bridal  attendants  are  paired  in  the 
recessional. 

Bridesmaids,  who  may  be  young  matrons,  are  chosen  from  among  the 
bride's  close  friends  and  should  not  be  older  than  she. 

THE    "JUNIOR    BRIDESMAID"    OR    "MAIDEN    OF    HONOR" 

There  is  occasionally  a  place  in  the  wedding  party  for  a  girl  between  the 
ages  of  ten  and  fourteen.  She  is  known  as  the  "junior  bridesmaid"  or 
"maiden  of  honor."  In  the  procession  she  walks  in  front  of  the  bridesmaids, 
as  junior  bridesmaid.  If  she  is  to  be  maiden  of  honor  she  precedes  the  bride 
if  there  is  no  maid  of  honor  or  matron  of  honor.  If  there  is  either  of  these 
then  she  precedes  the  maid  or  matron  of  honor.  Where  there  is  no  maid 
or  matron  of  honor  and  only  a  maiden  of  honor,  the  latter  may  perform 
the  duties  of  the  bride's  chief  attendant  although  I  think  that  it  is  too  much 
of  a  strain  for  a  girl  so  young  and  prefer  not  to  see  her  have  this  respon- 
sibility. 

USHERS    AND    BEST    MAN 

The  groom  chooses  his  ushers  and  best  man.  His  best  man  is  usually  a 
brother,  if  he  has  one  and  if  there  isn't  too  great  a  difference  in  age.  If  a 
brother  does  not  serve,  the  groom's  closest  friend  does.  His  ushers  should 
be  chosen  from  among  his  intimate  friends,  as  once  asked,  a  man  cannot 
refuse  such  an  honor  except  for  a  serious  reason.  Although  at  a  small  wed- 
ding the  groom  may  do  without  ushers  and  the  bride  without  bridesmaids, 
each  must  have  one  attendant  to  serve  as  a  witness,  so  the  best  man  and 
maid  or  matron  of  honor  are  indispensable.  If  the  best  man  is  to  be  chosen 
from  among  several  close  friends  of  the  groom  he  must  be  a  good  executive, 
if  it  is  to  be  a  large  formal  wedding,  for  his  duties  are  legion. 

In  a  big  church  it  is  necessary  to  have  enough  ushers— more  than  brides- 
maids—to seat  the  expected  guests.  However,  if  a  big  church  is  chosen,  it  is 
not  necessary  to  invite  enough  guests  to  fill  it,  as  part  of  the  body  of  the 
church  near  the  altar  may  be  enclosed  with  boxwood  or  other  greens  to 
make  a  small  chapel  for  the  ceremony.  Ushers  seat  only  invited  guests,  and 
do  not  permit  outsiders  to  be  seated  until  all  expected  guests  are  in  place. 

Ushers  may  be  married  or  single,  but  it  is  unusual  for  a  husband  and  wife 
to  serve  together,  except  at  a  double  wedding  where  the  first  couple  married 
may  act  as  best  man  and  matron  of  honor  for  the  second. 

When  married  men  act  as  ushers  or  matrons  act  as  bridesmaids  their 
husbands  and  wives  must  be  invited  to  the  wedding,  but  they  need  not  be 
asked  to  sit  at  the  bridal  table,  which  is,  officially,  only  for  the  bridal  party 
and  even  excludes  the  parents  of  the  couple. 

5i 


The  ushers  and  best  man  provide  all  their  own  clothes  for  the  wedding 
with  the  exception  of  their  ties  and  gloves,  which  are  furnished  them  by 
the  groom.  He,  or  the  best  man,  has  ascertained  sizes  and  has  these  items 
delivered  well  in  advance  of  the  wedding.  At  the  bachelor  dinner  the 
groom's  gifts  to  his  ushers  and  his  best  man  are  at  each  table  place— but 
never  the  clothing  accessories. 

the  groom's  father  as  best  man  Very  occasionally,  especially  if  he  has  no 
brother,  the  groom  asks  his  father  to  be  his  best  man.  If  the  father  is  very 
young-looking  this  does  not  seem  too  incongruous,  but  it  is  best  to  keep 
the  wedding  party  at  the  same  age  level  as  that  of  the  bride  and  groom. 

duties  of  the  best  man  The  best  man  has  always  had  an  important  role  in  all 
weddings.  In  ancient  times,  when  marriage  was  by  seizure  of  some  girl  out- 
side the  tribe,  the  best  man  was  chosen  for  his  brawn  and  bravery,  as  he  was 
needed  to  fend  off  the  bride's  male  relatives  and,  later,  to  prevent  the  bride's 
escape  from  the  groom.  Today,  while  his  duties  are  less  vigorous,  they  are 
nevertheless  extensive  at  any  formal  wedding. 

The  best  man  is  adviser,  messenger,  valet,  secretary,  and  general  factotum 
to  the  groom.  He  takes  him  firmly  in  hand  from  the  very  start  of  prepara- 
tions for  the  wedding,  seeing  to  it  that  he  is  fitted  for  his  wedding  clothes, 
if  new  ones  are  to  be  made  for  him— or  if  they  are  to  be  rented— that  he  has 
the  ties  and  gloves  for  the  ushers,  that  he  confers  with  the  bride  on  the 
needed  flowers  for  ushers  and  for  her  bouquet  and  his  boutonniere,  all  of 
which  the  groom  usually  pays  for,  though  she  orders  (see  "Flowers"). 

He  rounds  up  the  ushers  for  the  rehearsal  and  sees  that  it  goes  off  accord- 
ing to  schedule.  He  remains  with  the  groom  all  day  before  the  ceremony, 
traditionally  even  rousing  him  in  the  morning.  He  helps  the  groom  dress, 
making  sure  there  are  extra  collar  buttons  ready  in  case  of  emergency, 
laying  out  all  the  items  of  his  wardrobe,  seeing  that  his  boutonniere  is  in  his 
buttonhole. 

The  best  man  sees  that  the  marriage  license  is  in  the  groom's  pocket  and 
the  wedding  ring  safely  on  his  own  little  finger  or  in  his  vest  pocket.  He 
makes  sure  that  he,  himself,  has  the  clergyman's  fee  (from  ten  dollars  up, 
depending  on  the  elaborateness  of  the  wedding)  in  a  sealed  envelope  to  be 
tendered,  quietly,  before  the  ceremony,  so  it  won't  be  overlooked. 

The  best  man  has  the  ushers  at  the  church  at  the  appointed  time— an  hour 
before  the  church  ceremony,  or  three  quarters  of  an  hour  before  at  a  home 
ceremony— and  the  groom  in  the  vesting  room  a  good  half  hour  before.  No 
bride  should  ever  be  kept  "waiting  at  the  church." 

After  the  ceremony  the  best  man  joins  in  the  recessional,  escorting  the 
maid  or  matron  of  honor,  then  hurries  to  the  place  of  the  reception  to  take 
up  his  duties  concerning  the  couple's  luggage.  This  must  be  placed  in  the 
going-away  car  or  assembled  in  a  spot  safe  from  pranksters.  Car  and  bag- 
gage keys  and  baggage  checks,  sometimes  the  hotel  key,  if  any,  are  given 
to  the  groom  after  he  has  changed  into  his  sack  suit. 

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PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

At  the  wedding  reception  the  best  man  hovers  in  the  neighborhood  of 
the  groom,  acting  as  his  secretary,  reminding  him  to  say  something  special 
to  the  bride's  Aunt  Mathilde,  who  is  about  to  come  down  the  line.  He 
proposes  the  first  toast  to  the  bride  and  groom  at  the  bridal  table  and 
reads  congratulatory  telegrams. 

When  the  bride  and  groom  are  ready  to  dress  for  their  departure  the 
best  man  again  valets  the  groom  and  sees  that  nothing  has  been  forgotten. 
He  fetches  both  sets  of  parents  and  any  other  close  relatives  for  the  farewell 
upstairs.  Then  he  clears  the  way  through  the  guests  for  the  bride  and  groom, 
who,  all  goodbyes  to  their  families  said,  race  through  a  rain  of  confetti  or 
rose  petals  (rather  than  rice,  let's  hope)  to  the  waiting  car  or  cab  (also 
scheduled  to  be  there  at  the  exact  moment  by  the  best  man).  Then,  and 
then  only,  does  the  hard-working  aide  relax  and  join  in  the  fun.  You  can 
see  why  the  best  man  does  not  stand  on  the  receiving  line. 

duties  of  ushers  The  duties  of  ushers  at  a  church  wedding  are  quite  definite, 
but  ushers  at  a  home  wedding  serve  in  a  more  or  less  honorary  capacity  as 
there  is  little,  if  any,  formal  seating  to  do.  Usually,  standards,  flower  deco- 
rated or  not,  are  placed  so  they  will  mark  off  with  white  ribbon  the  areas 
where  guests  are  to  stand.  Immediately  after  the  ceremony  it  is  the  ushers' 
work  to  remove  the  ribbons  and  standards,  so  guests  may  leave. 

Ushers  should  arrive  at  the  church  an  hour  before  the  ceremony,  leaving 
their  hats  and  outer  coats,  if  any,  in  the  vestry  but  retaining  their  gloves. 
In  the  vestry  they  receive  their  boutonnieres— furnished  by  the  groom— 
which  are  their  badge  of  office  and  should  be  in  place  before  the  ushers 
enter  the  church. 

Ushers  group  themselves  to  the  left  of  the  door  inside  the  church,  prefer- 
ably in  the  vestibule  if  it  is  large  enough.  Each  of  them  should  be  armed 
with  a  list  of  guests  to  be  seated  in  reserved  pews,  but  as  guests  rarely 
forget  they  have  been  honored  by  being  assigned  seats,  these  lists  are 
rarely  referred  to  unless,  if  pew  cards  were  issued,  a  guest  forgets  to  bring 
his.  Unrecognized  guests  are  asked  their  names  and  should  themselves  say 
"friend  of  the  bride"  or  "friend  of  the  groom,"  or  the  usher  may  ask  the 
question  so  that  they  may  be  correctly  seated— on  the  left  of  the  church 
for  the  bride,  on  the  right  for  the  groom.  If  as  the  church  fills  up  it  seems 
likely  that  the  seating  will  not  be  balanced,  the  ushers  seat  later-arriving 
guests  on  the  side  that  has  fewer  filled  seats,  regardless  of  the  guest's 
status. 

An  usher  does  not  allow  a  lady  to  find  her  seat  unescorted.  If  several 
guests  arrive  in  a  group,  he  offers  his  right  arm  to  the  eldest  lady,  and  the 
others  in  the  group  follow  singly,  women  first,  and  are  seated  together  by 
the  usher.  If  two  women  arrive  at  the  same  time,  the  younger  steps  back 
and  permits  the  elder  to  take  the  usher's  arm  while  she  waits  his  return 
or  accepts  the  services  of  the  next  available  usher. 

Ushers  should  be  gracious  and  seem  unhurried  even  when,  at  a  big  wed- 
ding, they  must  seat  a  great  many  people.  Bustle  and  self-importance  are 

53 


most  inappropriate  in  church,  so  the  groom  should  choose  his  attendants 
from  among  his  most  dignified  friends,  whose  social  presence  can  be  counted 
upon.  For,  while  an  usher  actually  receives  each  guest  and  speaks  a  few 
gracious  words  as  he  goes  up  the  aisle,  he  must  not  be  too  exuberant  or, 
himself,  more  than  part  of  the  background  of  the  principals— the  bride  and 
groom. 

The  "head  usher,"  usually  a  brother  or  other  relative  designated  by  the 
groom,  escorts  the  bride's  mother  to  her  seat,  and  her  entrance,  always 
carefully  timed,  is  the  signal  that  the  processional  is  about  to  start.  It  is  after 
she  is  seated  that  the  church  doors  are  closed  and  the  canvas,  if  any,  is  laid. 
After  the  bride's  mother  is  in  place  no  one  else  may  be  seated  by  ushers. 
Any  late-comers  must  wait  outside  until  after  the  ceremony  is  over  or 
quickly  seat  themselves  on  aisle  seats  in  the  back  of  the  church  if  the  doors 
have  not  been  closed. 

A  male  guest  entering  alone  is  seated  by  the  usher,  who  naturally  does 
not  offer  his  arm  unless  the  man  is  very  aged  and  might  have  trouble  nego- 
tiating the  aisle  alone.  If  two  men  arrive  at  the  same  time  the  usher  walks 
down  the  aisle  with  the  elder  and  the  younger  man  follows  so  that  he  may 
be  seated  at  the  same  time. 

Children— that  is,  girls  and  boys  under  fifteen  or  sixteen— follow  along 
as  their  parents  are  ushered  up  the  aisle.  If  there  is  time  for  such  extra 
courtesy,  an  usher  may  escort  a  girl  slightly  under  this  age— to  her  obvious 
delight. 

After  the  bride's  mother  is  seated  and  the  canvas,  if  there  is  one,  is  down 
two  designated  ushers,  starting  with  their  left  feet  first,  walk  together  up 
the  aisle  to  the  last  reserved  pews  where  white  satin  ribbons  have  been 
carefully  folded  and  laid  alongside  of  the  decorated  aisle  posts.  They  pick 
up  the  entire  bundle  and,  again  in  step,  walk  the  length  of  the  pews,  as 
rehearsed,  drawing  the  ribbons  behind  the  aisle  posts  in  a  straight  line, 
placing  the  loop  at  the  end  of  each  ribbon  over  the  last  aisle  post. 

The  ushers  are  then  ready  to  take  their  places  at  the  beginning  of  the  pro- 
cession. Ushers  always  go  up  the  aisle  in  pairs,  but  in  the  recessional  it  is 
optional  for  them  to  pair  with  the  bridesmaids,  if  there  is  an  equal  number. 
The  procedure  is  decided  by  the  bride  and  the  clergyman  in  the  rehearsal. 
(See  "The  Rehearsal.") 

In  a  service  wedding  where  the  groom  is  a  commissioned  officer— and 
only  if  he  is— brother  officers  in  uniform  acting  as  ushers  make  the  arch  of 
swords  for  the  bride  and  groom  either  at  the  foot  of  the  chancel  steps  at 
the  end  of  the  ceremony  or,  if  the  couple  prefers,  outside  if  the  weather  is 
good.  In  the  first  case,  as  soon  as  the  ceremony  is  over  the  ushers  line  up 
and  at  the  command  "Draw  Swords!"  from  the  head  usher  unsheathe  their 
swords  and  make  the  ceremonial  arch  for  the  bride  and  groom— and  for  them 
only— to  pass  through,  then  sheath  their  swords  at  the  command  "Return 
Swords!"  and  escort  the  bridesmaids  down  the  aisle.  If  the  arch  is  to  be 
outside  the  church  the  bridesmaids  go  down  the  aisle  alone  and  the  ushers 

54 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

leave  by  the  side  door  with  the  best  man  and  go  quickly  around  to  the 
front  of  the  church  to  form  the  arch  as  the  bride  and  groom  appear. 

Civilian  and  military  personnel  are  sometimes  together  in  a  bridal  party, 
but  where  some  ushers  and  perhaps  the  groom  are  required  to  be  in  uni- 
form others  conform  to  the  proper  formal  dress  for  the  time  of  day  and 
season. 

If  the  arch  of  swords  is  used,  civilian  ushers  line  up,  too,  but  merely  stand 
at  attention. 

Military  ushers,  because  their  swords  are  worn  on  the  left  side,  offer 
their  right  arms  to  the  bridesmaids  at  all  times,  and  the  bride  stands  to  the 
right  of  the  bridegroom  when  he  is  in  full  dress  uniform.  All  ushers,  civilian 
and  military,  in  the  recessional  must  then  be  on  the  right  if  they  are  paired 
with  bridesmaids. 

(Military  personnel  never  wear  boutonnieres,  even  at  weddings.) 

After  the  recessional  the  ribbons  are  left  in  place  until  the  mothers  of 
the  bride  and  groom  and  at  least  some  of  the  reserved  pew  guests  have 
been  escorted  out.  After  the  first  few  have  gone  down  the  aisle  ushers  often 
take  out  groups  in  order  to  clear  the  church  more  quickly.  It  is  an  extremely 
ill-mannered  guest  who,  despite  the  ribbons  restraining  him  on  the  aisle 
side,  leaves  from  the  far  side  of  the  church  before  the  reserved  pew  guests 
have  been  escorted  out  and  the  ribbons  removed. 

Ushers'  duties  are  not  over  once  they  have  completed  their  schedules  at 
the  church.  They  must  see  to  it  that  the  bridal  party  is  transported  to  the 
reception,  if  there  is  one,  well  in  advance  of  the  first  guests'  arrival,  and 
they  should  arrange  transportation  for  any  reception  guests  who  may 
not  have  it.  They  have  limited  time  to  attend  to  these  details,  because, 
although  they  do  not  stand  in  the  receiving  line,  they  should  be  on  hand 
as  soon  as  possible  for  the  wedding  group  pictures,  which  should  be  taken 
while  everyone  is  still  relatively  fresh  and  can  be  accounted  for.  And  as 
no  guest  should  arrive  and  have  to  wait  to  be  received,  you  can  see  that  there 
is  split-second  timing  even  here. 

At  the  reception  the  ushers,  at  last,  may  relax  and  enjoy  themselves.  At 
a  large  formal  reception  caterers  take  charge  of  refreshments,  but  at  a  small 
one  the  ushers  may  help  serve  guests.  They  aid  and  abet  the  couple  in  a 
smooth  getaway  as  the  reception  draws  to  a  close,  after  the  bride  has  thrown 
her  bouquet  to  the  waiting  bridesmaids  when  she  goes  to  change  to  her 
street  clothes. 

Ushers,  as  members  of  the  wedding  party,  always  give  gifts  to  the  bride, 
individually,  before  the  wedding  or  together  give  the  couple  some  major 
gift  from  them  all,  with  contributions  to  the  fund  tactfully  geared  to  the 
circumstances  of  the  least  affluent  usher.  A  silver  tea  tray,  a  chair,  or  coffee 
table— things  the  new  household  needs— are  appropriate  and  better  than 
separate  gifts  from  each  usher,  as  men  are  usually  greatly  befuddled  as  to 
what  constitutes  a  suitable  wedding  gift.  They  are  often  visibly  relieved 
if  the  bride,  when  asked,  has  a  concrete  suggestion  along  these  lines. 

55 


TRANSPORTATION  TO  AND  FROM  THE  CHURCH 

Bridesmaids  always  meet  at  the  home  of  the  bride  before  going  to  the 
church.  They  may  dress  there,  if  that  seems  advisable,  or  arrive  dressed.  If 
they  are  from  out  of  town  it  is  the  duty  of  the  bride's  mother  to  find  them 
accommodations  either  in  her  own  home  or  with  friends  or,  failing  that,  at 
a  hotel,  chaperoned. 

At  the  bride's  home  the  attendants  receive  their  bouquets.  They  should  all 
be  assembled  a  full  hour  before  the  ceremony  and  able,  if  necessary,  to  aid 
the  bride  in  her  dressing  and  her  mother  with  the  last-minute  preparations 
for  the  reception. 

The  mother  of  the  bride,  riding  alone  or  with  one  or  two  bridesmaids, 
leaves  the  house  first,  followed  by  the  bridesmaids  and  maid  or  matron  of 
honor  in  hired  limousines  or  their  own  cars.  The  bride,  with  her  father, 
always  rides  in  a  special  car,  whose  driver,  or  chauffeur,  wears  a  white 
boutonniere.  The  car's  tires,  if  not  white-walled,  are  freshly  whitewashed. 
The  bride  is  very  careful  not  to  sit  on  her  wedding  gown  or  crease  her  veil. 

Arrangements  are  made  beforehand  with  local  police  or  uniformed 
attendants  to  keep  traffic  in  order  at  a  large  wedding.  As  each  car  arrives  it 
moves  on  to  a  designated  parking  space.  The  bride's  car,  however,  remains 
in  front  of  the  church  just  where  it  dispatched  her  and  her  father,  until  she 
re-enters  it  with  the  groom. 

GIFTS    FOR    BRIDE'S    ATTENDANTS,    USHERS,    AND    BEST    MAN 

Both  bride  and  groom  give  their  attendants  some  lasting  memento  of  the 
occasion— the  groom  at  his  bachelor  dinner,  the  bride  at  any  convenient  time 
before  the  wedding  when  all  her  attendants  are  together.  The  gifts  are 
usually  silver  or  gold— something  that  can  be  engraved  with  the  date  and 
the  ;nitials  of  the  recipients.  Desk  accessories— silver  inkwells,  paper  weights, 
or  letter  openers— or  the  more  usual  cigarette  boxes  are  suitable  for  both 
maids  and  ushers.  Brides  often  give  charms  for  bracelets  or  tiny  gold  or 
silver  pencils  or  silver  snuff  boxes  (now  used  for  pills).  Gifts  for  ushers 
should  be  all  alike,  as  are  those  for  the  bridesmaids.  The  chief  attendants 
receive  the  same  kind  of  gift  varied  a  little  in  design  or  size— a  giant  cigarette 
box  or  cocktail  shaker  for  the  best  man,  say,  and  a  bracelet  for  the  maid 
or  matron  of  honor  instead  of  a  charm. 

THE    COUPLE'S    GIFTS    TO    EACH    OTHER 

On  or  just  before  her  wedding  day  the  bride  receives  some  personal  gift 
from  the  groom— usually  something  to  wear.  Loveliest  is  a  string  of  pearls, 
but  the  modern  bride— if  her  husband  can  afford  it— may  think  in  terms  of 
a  mink  coat  or  her  own  roadster.  A  piece  of  heirloom  jewelry,  a  fitted  travel- 
ing case,  or  a  watch  are  all  possibilities— very  expensive  or  fairly  inexpensive 
ones,  as  the  groom's  circumstances  permit. 

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PART    ONE      THE   CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 


The  bride,  in  turn,  makes  some  gift  to  the  groom,  too— a  silver  dresser  set, 
cuff  links,  her  wedding  picture  in  a  silver  frame,  or  anything  of  somewhat 
lasting  quality  for  which  he  will  have  personal  use. 


THE    BACHELOR    DINNER 

Two  or  three  nights  before  the  wedding— certainly  not  the  night  before— 
it  is  still  customary  for  the  groom  to  give  a  bachelor  dinner  to  his  best  man 
and  ushers  and  perhaps  many  or  few  other  men  friends,  usually  in  a  private 
dining  room  of  a  restaurant  or  club  or  in  the  groom's  bachelor  quarters  if  he 
has  them. 

We  usually  forget  that  the  groom,  too,  probably  enters  marriage  with 
some  trepidation,  and  therefore  the  bachelor  dinner,  no  doubt,  serves  to 
bolster  his  courage.  It  was  in  past  generations  supposed  to  allow  him  a 
final  fling,  and  it  produced  a  certain  "morning  after"  in  everyone  attending. 

Today,  with  pre-marriage  relationships  on  a  more  relaxed  plane,  the 
groom  has  less  need,  perhaps,  to  blow  off  steam  at  his  bachelor  dinner  and, 
if  he  has  one  at  all,  it  is  likely  to  be  a  quiet  stag  affair,  distinguished,  of 
course,  at  the  end  by  the  expected  toast  to  the  bride.  For  the  toast  the 
groom  rises  and  with  him  all  the  men  at  the  table.  He  raises  his  glass,  tradi- 
tionally filled  with  champagne,  and  says,  simply,  "To  the  bride."  Each  man 
drains  (normally,  champagne  is  sipped,  of  course)  his  glass  and  replaces  it 
on  the  table,  instead  of  snapping  its  fragile  stem  as  was  formerly  customary. 
Many  restaurants,  well  understanding  the  bachelor-dinner  urge  to  break  the 
glasses  to  honor  the  bride,  are  still  willing  to  provide  the  cheapest  possible 
glasses,  billing  the  host  for  the  breakage  if  it  does  occur.  But  any  modern 
bride  will  feel  just  as  honored  if  the  glasses  remain  intact,  I  am  sure. 

Today's  bride  is,  especially  in  smaller  communities,  very  likely  to  make 
her  own  farewell  to  the  single  life  by  dining  with  her  bridal  attendants  or 
alone  with  her  best  friend.  Customarily  she  always  spends  the  night  before 
her  wedding  with  her  immediate  family.  If  she  does  give  a  "maiden  dinner" 
it  usually  takes  place  the  evening  of  the  bachelor  dinner  in  some  restaurant 
or  club  or  in  the  bride's  home.  At  this  time,  if  she  wishes,  she  can  give 
her  attendants  their  gifts  and  propose  a  toast  to  the  groom. 


bride's  dress  for  the  wedding 

For  a  formal  winter  wedding  in  church  or  at  home  the  bride  wears  a  full- 
length  bridal  gown  in  a  variety  of  possible  materials— satin,  velvet,  taffeta, 
chiffon,  tulle,  and  lace.  All  of  them— except  the  velvet— can  be  worn  for  a 
summer  wedding,  plus  a  wide  variety  of  summer  cottons,  from  organdy  to 
dimity. 

The  formal  wedding  gown  is  usually  white  or  ivory  (though  delicate 
blue  or  pink  are  sometimes  seen)  with  or  without  a  full-length  veil  of  tulle, 
lace,  or  other  sheer  material.  A  finger-tip  veil  is  often  used  on  even  the 

57 


most  formal  gown,  but  a  veil  may  be  dispensed  with  entirely,  so  long  as 
a  bride  wears  a  flower  circlet  on  her  head.  In  a  simple  country  church, 
however,  I  saw  a  charming  bride  go  to  the  altar  bareheaded,  because  she 
never  wore  a  hat  of  any  kind.  The  kindly  and  liberal  minister  said  he  saw 
no  reason  why  God  should  be  displeased  if  she  did  what  was  for  her  the 
natural  thing. 

A  wedding  gown  should  follow  a  certain  decorum— neckline  conservative 
and  sleeves  preferably  long.  If  the  sleeves  are  fairly  short,  this  necessitates 
the  wearing  of  long  gloves,  which  may  not  be  removed  during  the  ceremony. 
Instead,  the  under  seam  of  the  ring  finger  is  ripped,  so  the  bride  can  bare 
her  finger  to  receive  the  ring.  The  bride  who  chooses  a  long-sleeved  gown 
doesn't  wear  gloves. 

The  bride's  shoes  are  white  silk  or  satin,  her  orange  blossoms  preferably 
artificial  and  wiltless,  and  any  jewelry  she  wears  is  real  and  more  or  less 
functional.  She  might  wear  a  strand  of  pearls  or  a  simple  pin  or  clip,  but  she 
wouldn't  wear  even  a  tiny  diamond-studded  watch  or  bracelet.  She  might 
wear  simple  pearl  earrings  or  small  gold  ones,  but  she  would  avoid  chi-chi. 

In  place  of  a  bridal  bouquet  (furnished  by  the  groom)  the  bride  may 
carry  a  white  prayer  book,  with  or  without  a  flower  and  ribbon  marker. 

If  she  wears  her  engagement  ring  to  the  altar  it  is  on  her  right  hand,  as 
the  wedding  band,  once  put  on,  is,  at  least  traditionally,  never  removed. 

At  an  informal  church  or  home  wedding  the  bride  wears  a  simple  dress  or 
suit  (not  black)  through  noon,  a  dressmaker  suit  or  afternoon  dress,  later. 

should  the  bride  wear  a  family  gown?  It  is  traditional  in  some  families  that 
each  generation's  brides  wear  a  family  gown  that  has  served  this  romantic 
purpose  before.  But  no  one  should  assume  that  a  bride  will  prefer  to  carry 
on  such  a  tradition  or  even  wear  her  mother's  own  gown  rather  than  have 
her  very  own.  It  is  the  bride  who  should  decide,  and  any  suggestions  that  she 
wear  other  than  her  own  gown  should  be  very  tentative  indeed.  No  family 
pressure  should  be  permitted,  for  a  bride  certainly  has  the  right  to  make 
such  an  important  decision  herself.  And  if  she  decides  in  favor  of  a  modern 
gown,  it  is  the  obligation  of  her  mother  to  protect  her  from  criticism  by 
unthinking  Aunt  Nellies. 

how  practical  should  a  wedding  gown  be?  Most  brides  abandon  any 
thought  of  practicality  when  choosing  a  wedding  gown.  If  a  great  deal  of 
money  goes  into  it,  they  like  to  think  that  it  may  become  a  family  heirloom 
their  daughters  and  granddaughters  will  wear.  However,  modern  living  has 
created  its  own  storage  problems,  and  it  is  better,  no  doubt,  to  choose  the 
kind  of  gown  that  can  be  remade  by  a  clever  seamstress  into  a  dinner  or 
evening  dress.  If  a  white  dress  the  first  year  or  so  of  marriage  seems  a  little 
obvious,  it  can  very  well  be  dyed.  If  it  is  to  be  dyed,  the  dyeing  should 
take  place  before  the  remodeling,  as  the  fabric  will  probably  shrink.  It  is 
more  practical  to  save  the  veil  for  future  generations  than  the  dress,  as 
wedding  veils  change  very  little  while  dresses  change  considerably.  Think 

58 


PART    ONE       THE   CEREMONIES   OF   LIFE 

of  the  bride  of  the  twenties  with  her  knee-length  gown  she  thought  her 
granddaughter  would  be  able  to  wear! 
superstitions  Most  brides  like  to  follow  the  age-old  superstition  that  they  must 
wear  "something  old,  something  new,  something  borrowed,  and  something 
blue."  Some  walk  down  the  aisle  with  a  shiny  dime  in  place  of  the  traditional 
sixpence  in  their  shoe.  Many  brides,  however,  scoff  at  the  idea  that  bad  luck 
will  befall  them  if  they  rehearse  their  own  weddings,  and  they  seldom  have 
"stand-ins."  Rice,  sometimes  painful  when  thrown  too  enthusiastically  at 
weddings,  is  usually  replaced  today  by  confetti  or  rose  petals  furnished  by 
the  bride's  family.  Anything  of  the  sort  should  be  thrown  only  outside  the 
church. 

THE    GROOM'S    CLOTHES 

For  a  formal  wedding  in  which  the  bride  wears  a  bridal  gown  the  groom 
must  wear  formal  clothes— daytime  or  evening  clothes— depending  on  the 
hour  of  the  ceremony.  If  the  wedding  is  in  the  morning  or  afternoon— up 
to  7  p.m.— the  groom  wears  a  cutaway  with  gray  striped  trousers,  gray  vest 
(in  summer  natural  or  white  linen  with  spats  and  gloves  to  match),  a  wing 
collar  with  ascot  or  cravat  in  black  and  white,  or  he  may  wear  a  director's 
jacket  and  turned-down  stiff  collar.  Today  when  a  wing  collar  is  worn  with 
the  cutaway  at  a  wedding,  it  is  worn  only  by  the  groom  and  best  man.  He 
also  wears  black  shoes  with  black  soles  (soles  are  blackened  by  the  shoe- 
maker so  they  will  not  be  noticeable  when  the  groom  kneels),  black  socks, 
gray  gloves  (or,  in  summer,  a  color  to  match  vest),  and  a  high  silk  hat.  His 
boutonniere  is  distinctive  from  that  of  the  other  men  in  the  bridal  party- 
lilies  of  the  valley  or  a  gardenia  preferably.  This  is,  traditionally,  a  spray 
from  the  bridal  bouquet. 

In  the  summer  for  country  weddings,  white  flannels  and  navy  coats  may 
replace  the  cutaways  for  formal  wear  when  the  bride  is  in  full  regalia.  The 
tie  is  blue,  the  shoes  pure  white,  the  collar  stiff,  turned  over.  No  gloves. 
For  an  outdoor  wedding  a  white  linen  or  Palm  Beach  suit  may  be  worn 
with  a  white  or  light  tie. 

For  an  informal  morning  or  afternoon  wedding,  when  the  bride  wears  a 
veil  the  groom  wears  a  single-  or  double-breasted  Oxford  gray  coat,  striped 
trousers,  a  white  shirt  with  stiff  collar,  a  gray  tie,  black  shoes  and  socks, 
a  black  or  gray  felt,  and  a  distinctive  white  boutonniere. 

For  an  informal  wedding  in  the  morning  or  afternoon,  when  the  bride 
does  not  wear  a  veil  the  groom  wears  a  dark  business  suit  in  blue  or  gray, 
a  white  shirt  with  a  white  fold  collar,  a  conservative  tie,  a  derby  or  Hom- 
burg,  gray  gloves,  and  his  own  special  boutonniere.  In  the  summer  he  wears 
a  light-weight  wool  suit  in  gray  or  blue  with  white  shirt  and  black  shoes,  or 
a  Palm  Beach  suit,  conservative  tie,  white  shirt,  light  socks,  and  white  shoes. 

For  formal  evening  weddings— after  7  p.m.— the  groom  wears  a  tail  coat, 
as  do  all  the  male  members  of  the  wedding  party.  He  wears  his  own 
boutonniere  to  distinguish  him  from  the  others  and  an  opera  or  high  silk 
hat.  For  a  smaller,  less  formal  wedding  in  the  evening,  a  dinner  jacket  is 

59 


permissible  and  the  groom's  boutonniere  essential.  If  the  bride  wears  street 
clothes  for  an  evening  wedding  the  groom  wears  a  dark  business  suit,  black 
shoes.  If  the  bride  wears  a  dinner  dress  the  groom  wears  a  tuxedo. 
the  walking  stick  The  crook-handled  Malacca  walking  stick  is  customarily 
carried  by  the  groom,  best  man,  and  ushers  when  they  are  in  cutaways, 
but  it  is  no  longer  considered  essential. 

DIFFERENCES    OF    DRESS    IN    WEDDING    PARTY 

Ushers  at  a  wedding  dress  alike  and  for  formal  afternoon  weddings  wear 
identical  ties  and  gloves  that  the  groom  gives  them.  The  ties  for  the  ushers 
may  be  gray  four-in-hands  instead  of  ascots  and  worn  either  with  a  wing 
or  fold  collar.  Groom  and  best  man  always  wear  either  brocaded  gray  or 
black  and  silver-gray  striped  grosgrain  ascots  for  formal  daytime  weddings, 
but  their  cravats  need  not  match.  As  sack  coats  with  striped  trousers  are 
slightly  less  formal  than  the  cutaway,  groom  and  best  man  usually  wear 
the  cutaway,  even  when  the  ushers  wear  the  more  modern  type  of  formal 
daytime  dress.  (See  "The  Morning  Coat  or  Cutaway.")  The  maid  or  matron 
of  honor  is  dressed  in  slightly  different  fashion  from  the  bridesmaids,  with  a 
dress  that  is  either  of  the  same  design  but  a  different  color  or  of  the  same 
color  but  of  a  little  different  design.  All  attendants'  dresses  may  be  alike,  with 
different  flowers  or  headdresses  distinguishing  the  maid  or  matron  of  honor. 
The  bridesmaids  and  maid  or  matron  of  honor  wear  dresses  the  same  length 
as  the  bride's  and,  as  nearly  always  required,  some  head  covering— either 
hats,  Juliet  caps,  or  flower  headdresses.  The  slippers  of  all  attendants  are 
alike  in  fabric  and  style,  but  the  maid  or  matron  of  honor  may  have  slippers 
of  a  different  color  to  match  her  dress  if  it  is  another  color.  In  the  formal 
wedding  party  only  the  bride  may  be  gloveless,  as  usually  her  veil  or  sleeves 
partially  cover  her  hands.  The  long  sweeping  train  has  virtually  disappeared 
and  with  it  the  train  bearers.  If  there  is  to  be  a  "junior  bridesmaid"  or 
"maiden  of  honor,"  her  costume  should  go  well  with  those  of  the  bridesmaids 
and  yet  should  be  suited  to  her  own  years.  Her  dress  should  be  veiy  much 
like  a  dancing  school  dress,  probably  full  of  skirt  and  with  puffed  sleeves  and 
a  simple  modest  neckline.  Even  her  headdress  need  not  be  too  much  like  that 
of  the  bridesmaids,  especially  if  theirs  is  relatively  sophisticated.  Often  a 
wreath  of  flowers  seems  most  suitable  for  a  girl  of  this  age.  Her  shoes  should 
be  the  sort  that  she  would  normally  wear  to  dancing  school,  perhaps  black 
patent,  one-strap  slippers.  Unless  she  is  tall  for  her  age,  a  girl  from  ten  to 
twelve  looks  better  in  socks  than  in  stockings.  Flower  girls,  dressed  in  pic- 
ture-book style,  are  more  often  seen  in  formal  weddings  than  page  boys, 
possibly  because  little  girls  are  amenable  to  "dressing  up."  Little  boys  tend  to 
think  their  manhood  impugned  by  frilly  blouses  and  satin  knee  breeches  or 
long  tight  velvet  trousers  of  the  Dickens  era.  If  either  or  both  small  attend- 
ants are  used,  they  should  not  be  so  young  as  to  create  more  problems.  A 
flower  girl  has  no  function  except  that  of  looking  picturesque,  but  a  page  boy 
bears  the  ring— for  safety's  sake  not  the  real  one— on  a  little  white  satin 
pillow.  The  real  ring  is  snug  in  the  best  man's  pocket.  Flower  girls  and  page 

60 


PART    ONE       THE   CEREMONIES   OF   LIFE 

boys  may  be  in  white  or  be  dressed  in  pastel  shades  that  match  or  comple- 
ment those  of  the  bridesmaids.  While  period  costumes  are  used,  a  page  boy 
could  wear  a  dark  blue  Eton  suit  and  a  flower  girl  could  wear  a  party  dress 
and  white  or  colored  slippers  to  match  or,  with  a  colored  dress,  possibly  to 
contrast.  Her  bouquet  should  be  diminutive— or  she  may  carry  a  basket  of 
rose  petals.  And  even  she  must  have  some  little  head  covering  in  most 
churches. 

If  there  is  a  ring  bearer,  see  that  the  ring  is  fastened  to  the  cushion  with 
light  silken  stitches,  especially  if  precaution  has  been  thrown  to  the  winds 
and  the  real  ring  is  borne  by  the  child.  If  the  actual  ring  is  on  the  cushion 
the  ring  bearer  carries,  then  he  will,  necessarily,  have  to  remain  throughout 
the  ceremony.  If  he  has  been  used  merely  for  effect,  however,  it  is  quite 
simple  for  him  to  leave  the  procession  as  it  reaches  the  mother's  pew.  As 
children  in  the  processional  are  usually  under  seven,  they  should  not  stand 
with  the  other  attendants  during  the  ceremony  but  should  join  the  bride's 
mother  in  her  pew  and  not  be  in  the  recessional. 

For  an  informal  wedding  attendants,  if  any,  wear  the  same  kind  of  clothes 
as  the  principals,  geared  to  the  season,  the  place  of  the  ceremony,  and  the 
time  of  day.  Guests  wear  conservative  Sunday  best,  the  women  in  hats  and 
gloves. 

WHAT   GUESTS    WEAR 

When  the  groom  wears  formal  day  or  evening  wear  the  fathers  of  the  bride 
and  groom  dress  as  he  does,  as  do  all  the  male  members  of  the  wedding 
party.  Men  guests  at  a  formal  daytime  wedding  may  or  may  not  wear  cut- 
aways or  sack  coats  with  striped  trousers,  as  they  choose.  Younger  men 
usually  wear  dark  blue  or  Oxford  gray  suits. 

At  a  formal  daytime  wedding  the  mothers  of  the  bride  and  groom  may 
wear  soft  suits  or  ensembles  in  pale  or  pastel  faille,  taffeta,  satin,  or  silk, 
or  any  delicately  colored  taffeta,  satin,  or  silk  afternoon  dress  in  the  current 
mode. 

For  a  formal  evening  wedding  women  members  of  the  wedding  party 
wear  evening-length  dresses  and  mothers  of  the  bride  and  groom  wear 
long-  or  three-quarter-sleeved  dinner  or  evening  dresses  in  any  color  but 
black,  red,  or  possibly  green,  which  by  some  is  considered  unlucky  at  wed- 
dings. Accessories  should  not  be  black,  and  some  headdress  should  be  worn— 
perhaps  an  evening  hat,  a  mantilla,  or  a  twist  of  tulle.  Women  guests  may 
wear  dinner  dresses  or  afternoon  wear. 

At  a  formal  evening  wedding  men  related  to  the  family  wear  white  tie, 
as  do  many  older  men,  but  it  is  usual  for  young  men  to  wear  dinner  jackets 
if  they  are  not  actually  in  the  wedding  party. 

At  informal  weddings  guests  wear  conservative  church-going  clothes  suit- 
able to  the  season.  The  women  wear  hats  and  gloves. 

FLOWERS    FOR   THE    WEDDING    PARTY 

The  groom's  boutonniere  is,  as  I  have  mentioned  before,  traditionally  a 

61 


spray  from  the  bridal  bouquet  and  is  usually  lily  of  the  valley,  if  in  season. 
But  his  boutonniere  differs  from  that  of  the  best  man  and  the  ushers. 

The  bridal  bouquet  is  usually  white,  although,  especially  with  pastel  bridal 
gowns,  sometimes  other  pale-colored  flowers  are  included.  It  may  encircle 
a  going-away  corsage  if  the  flowers  come  from  a  florist  skilled  at  making 
these  corsages-within-bouquets  so  they  merely  untie  when  the  bride  wishes 
to  toss  away  the  rest  of  her  bouquet.  The  corsage  included  in  the  bridal 
bouquet  saves  the  groom  the  expense  of  a  separate  corsage  and  "fills  out" 
the  bouquet  at  no  extra  cost. 

The  attendants'  bouquets— carried  only  with  long  gowns— are  usually  Colo- 
nial or  wrist  bouquets,  more  graceful  to  manage  in  a  procession  than  the 
old-fashioned  arm  bouquets.  If  attendants  and  bride  are  in  street-length 
gowns  corsages  take  the  place  of  bouquets. 

Attendants'  bouquets  may  be  anything  seasonal  that  complements  their 
gowns.  At  a  beautiful  Christmas  season  wedding  all  the  attendants  were  in 
white  velvet  and  carried  wrist  bouquets  of  poinsettias.  A  country  garden 
wedding  might  find  the  bridesmaids  carrying  Colonial  bouquets  of  purple 
or  blue  iris  or  blue  cornflowers— or  even  field  daisies. 


EXPENSES  OF  THE  BRIDES  PARENTS 

Engraved  invitations  and  announcements 

The  bridal  outfit  and,  though  it  is  no  longer  expected,  the  costumes  of  the 

bride's  attendants  if  money  is  no  object 
Bridal  photographs 

The  bridal  consultant  and  social  secretary,  if  needed 
The  bride's  trousseau 
The  household  trousseau 
All  the  cost  of  the  reception 
Flowers  for  the  reception 

Flowers  for  the  bride  and  her  attendants  (but  see  "Groom's  Expenses") 
Music  at  the  church  and  at  the  reception 
Sexton's  and  organist's  fee.  Choir  fee 
Carpets,  ribbons,  awnings,  tents— anything  of  the  kind  often  rented  for  large 

weddings  and  receptions 
A  limousine  for  the  bride,  at  least,  and  other  cars  for  the  transportation  of 

the  bridal  party  to  and  from  church 
A  wedding  gift  of  substance,  usually  silver 

groom's  expenses 

The  wedding  ring 

The  marriage  license 

The  bride's  flowers  (the  bridal  bouquet  if  she  wears  a  bridal  gown,  or  a 

corsage.  Going-away  corsage  may  be  the  heart  of  the  bridal  bouquet,  or 

supplied  separately) 

6a 


PART    ONE       THE  CEREMONIES   OF   LIFE 

His  own  and  the  ushers'  boutonnieres 
Corsage  for  his  mother 
The  ushers'  gloves,  ties,  and  collars 
Gifts  for  the  ushers 
The  minister's  fee 

A  wedding  gift  for  his  bride— something  for  her  to  treasure,  usually  jewelry 
His  bachelor  dinner 
The  entire  cost  of  the  wedding  trip 
His  own  wedding  and  wedding  trip  clothes 

The  home  into  which  they  will  move  and  the  equipping  of  it  with  its  major 
furnishings 

note:  In  large  formal  weddings  the  bride's  flowers  and  those  of  the  brides- 
maids are  considered  part  of  the  entire  wedding  expense  and  thus  borne  by 
the  bride's  parents.  It  is  becoming  customary  however  for  the  groom  to  send 
the  bride's  bouquet,  though  she  selects  it,  and  to  provide,  of  course,  his  own 
and  the  best  man's  and  the  ushers'  boutonnieres.  In  some  communities  the 
groom  pays  for  the  entire  bridal  party  flowers  as  well  as  for  corsages  for  both 
mothers. 


CHAPTER  THREE 

THE  WEDDING  CEREMONY 

THE    REHEARSAL 

All  weddings  with  more  than  two  attendants  must  be  rehearsed  two  or 
three  days  before  the  event  and  at  the  convenience  of  the  clergyman,  or  in 
large  churches  the  sexton,  who  must  be  present  with  the  organist  and  any 
other  participants. 

Often  the  rehearsal  is  held  in  the  evening,  preceded  by  a  dinner  for  the 
bridal  party  at  the  home  of  the  bride. 

which  arm  does  the  bride  take?  This  is  always  settled  at  the  rehearsal  and 
depends  on  the  preference  of  the  minister.  It  is  more  convenient  at  a  formal 
wedding  for  the  bride  to  go  up  the  aisle  on  her  father's  right  arm,  so  that 
when  his  role  is  completed  and  he  must  return  to  the  left  front  pew  to  stand 
with  her  mother  he  does  not  have  to  cross  over  the  bride's  train  but  will  be 
already  on  the  convenient  side.  However,  some  ministers  prefer  the  other 

I  procedure  in  which  the  bride  comes  down  the  aisle  on  her  father's  left  arm. 
(In  all  recessionals  the  bride  takes  the  groom's  arm  and  ushers  offer  their 
arms  to  bridesmaids. )  The  clergyman's  ruling  is  the  deciding  one. 


processional,  Christian  Ceremony 

Reading  from  top  down:  Bride  and  her 
father.  Sometimes  father  is  on  bride's 
right  (see  text). 

Flower  girl  or  page  boy,  if  any,  or  flower 
girl  and  page,  page  on  same  side  as 
father. 

Maid  or  matron  of  honor.  If  there  are 
both,  they  may  walk  together  or  the 
younger  may  precede  the  elder. 

Bridesmaids.  Shorter  ones  precede  taller 
and  are  paired  according  to  height. 

Ushers.  Shorter  ones  precede  taller  and 
are  paired  according  to  height. 

At  the  chancel  steps:  best  man,  groom, 
clergyman. 


/ 


ALTAR 


X 


THE    PROCESSIONAL 

Ushers  are  paired,  as  are  bridesmaids,  so  that  the  shorter  ones  precede  the 
taller.  They  learn  that  they  do  not  actually  "march"  but  walk  in  time,  slowly, 
left  foot  first  down  the  aisle,  keeping  four  pews  apart,  and  after  a  little 
coaching  they  manage  to  deliver  the  bride  to  the  chancel  steps  at  the  mo- 
ment the  music  stops  playing.  The  bride,  no  longer  afraid  to  rehearse  at  her 
own  wedding,  counts  eight  beats  of  the  music  before  she  follows  the  attend- 
ants on  her  father's  right  arm. 

64 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 


recessional,  Christian  Ceremony, 
Optional  Arrangement 

right  panel,  Reading  from  top 
down:  Groom  and  bride.  In  a 
service  wedding  men  are  on 
bride's  right.  In  other  weddings 
this  is  sometimes  done  too  (see 
text). 

Flower  girl  or  page,  if  any,  or 
second  honor  attendant,  if  any. 

Best  man  and  maid  or  matron  of 
honor.  Ushers  and  bridesmaids 
paired,  only  if  they  are  equal  in 
number. 

far  right  panel,  Reading  from 
top  down:  Groom  and  bride. 

Flower  girl  or  second  honor  at- 
tendant, if  any.  (Very  small 
children  do  not  appear  in  re- 
cessional necessarily.) 

Maid  of  honor. 

Bridesmaids  alone  always  when 
there  is  .not  an  equal  number  of 
ushers. 

Ushers  alone. 


r 


ALTAK 


A 


y 


ALTAR 


\ 


No  words  of  the  ceremony  are  spoken  during  the  rehearsal,  although  the 
minister  (or  the  sexton)  indicates  at  what  point  each  member  of  the  party 
plays  his  role.  The  best  man  learns  just  when  he  must  produce  the  ring  from 
his  vest  pocket  or,  better,  his  little  finger.  The  maid  or  matron  of  honor  notes 
at  what  point  she  takes  the  bride's  bouquet  or  prayer  book.  The  bride's 
father— or  in  some  cases  her  mother— learns  when  the  bride  is  to  be  "given 
away." 


THE    RECESSIONAL 

Most  rehearsed  of  all  will  be  the  ushers,  who,  if  it  is  to  be  a  large  wedding, 
will  have  real  work  to  do.  Two  ushers,  chosen  for  the  honor,  will  be  shown 
how  to  handle  the  ribbons  and,  if  there  is  to  be  one,  how  to  lay  the  canvas 
at  the  right  moment.  It  is  at  the  rehearsal  that  bride  and  clergyman,  or 
sexton,  decide  how  the  recessional  is  to  go.  Bride  and  groom  always  lead  in 
the  recessional,  but  it  is  optional  whether  or  not  the  ushers  and  bridesmaids 
pair  up  or  return  as  they  were  in  the  processional,  but  this  time  with  the 
bride's  attendants  immediately  following  the  couple,  in  the  proper  order, 

65 


then  the  ushers  walking  together.  If  there  is  an  uneven  number  of  ushers 
the  extra  man  walks  alone  and  the  second  variation  of  the  recessional  is 
preferred.  I  prefer  to  see  the  attendants  paired  in  the  recessional,  if  possible, 
as  such  pairing  after  the  ceremony  seems  symbolic  of  other  possible  ro- 
mances springing  from  this  wedding— as  so  often  happens. 

In  the  recessional  the  father  is  missing— he  has  joined  the  mother  in  the 
first  pew  as  soon  as  he  has  given  the  bride  away. 

WHEN   THERE    ARE   TWO  MAIN    AISLES 

When  a  church  has  two  main  aisles  one  may  be  used  for  the  processional, 
one  for  the  recessional.  When  each  is  given  the  same  importance  the  pew 
posts  are  decorated  exactly  alike.  If  it  is  decided  that  one  aisle  is  to  be  used 
for  both  processional  and  recessional,  the  other  aisle  is  used  only  for  seating 
of  guests  and  is  not  specially  decorated.  If  one  aisle  is  chosen,  the  grouping 
at  the  chancel  is  on  the  side  of  that  aisle.  When  both  aisles  are  given  equal 
importance  the  grouping  at  the  chancel  is  as  it  is  for  a  church  with  a  center 
aisle. 

PROCEDURE    DURING   THE    CEREMONY 

In  Christian  wedding  ceremonies  the  left  side  is  the  bride's,  as  one  enters, 
the  right,  the  groom's.  The  family  and  friends  of  the  bride  are,  therefore, 
on  the  left  of  the  church,  and  the  groom's  are  on  the  right. 

As  the  bride  approaches  the  chancel  the  clergyman  stands  at  the  entrance 
to  the  altar  and  the  groom,  facing  slightly  into  the  nave,  is  on  the  right,  ready 
to  step  forward  to  assist  the  bride  up  the  chancel  step  or  steps.  Below  and 
behind  him  a  little  to  the  right  is  the  best  man.  On  the  left  of  the  chancel  as 


ALTAR 


grouping  at  the  altar,  Protestant  Ceremony:  1.  Groom,  2.  bride,  3.  bride's 
father,  4.  maid  or  matron  of  honor,  5.  best  man,  6.  clergyman.  Figures  far 
left  and  right,  ushers,  maids  of  honor,  note:  In  the  Roman  Catholic  cere- 
mony the  bride's  father  joins  her  mother  in  the  first  pew  as  he  reaches  it. 
He  does  not  give  the  bride  away.  Otherwise  the  grouping  at  the  chancel 
is  the  same,  with  the  addition  of  an  acolyte  (see  text). 

66 


PART    ONE      THE   CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 


the  bride  approaches  stands  her  maid  or  matron  of  honor  in  the  same  position 
as  the  best  man.  Ushers,  if  any,  are  lined  up  below  the  choir  stalls  on  each 
side  of  the  chancel  with  the  maids  of  honor  usually  in  front  of  them  and  on 
a  slanting  line.  In  a  small  church  it  may  be  necessary  to  place  only  two 
ushers  on  the  chancel  steps,  one  left,  one  right,  the  rest  on  the  floor  of  the 
church,  flanking  the  chancel,  but  many  variations  of  these  groupings  are 
used. 

In  some  ceremonies— namely  the  Catholic  and  the  Episcopal— the  bride 
and  groom  follow  the  clergyman  to  the  altar  and  may  kneel  at  an  indicated 
point  in  the  ceremony.  They  are  followed  by  the  maid  and  matron  of  honor, 
if  there  are  both  in  attendance,  with  the  maid  on  the  immediate  left  of  the 
bride  and  the  matron  on  the  far  left  of  the  bride,  so  that  it  is  the  maid  who 
assists  with  the  bouquet  and  veil.  The  best  man  on  the  immediate  right  of 
the  groom  is  followed  by  the  ring  bearer,  if  any,  at  far  right,  a  few  feet 
behind.  When  the  clergyman  asks  for  the  ring,  the  best  man  produces  it 
from  his  vest  pocket  or,  better,  his  little  finger.  In  the  Catholic  service  he 
proffers  it  to  the  groom,  who  hands  it  to  the  acolyte,  who  in  turn  gives  it  to 
the  priest,  who  blesses  it.  In  the  Protestant  ceremony— and  the  Episcopal 
service  or  some  variation  of  it  is  often  used  in  Presbyterian  and  Congrega- 
tional churches,  too— he  hands  the  ring  to  the  groom,  who  gives  it  to  the 
minister  for  the  blessing. 

During  the  blessing  of  the  ring— or,  if  preferred,  as  soon  as  maid  and  ma- 
tron of  honor  (or  just  the  one  attendant)  are  in  place— the  bride  hands  her 

at  the  altar  rah,,  Roman  Catholic  and  Epis- 
copal Ceremony,  Optional  Arrangements: 
1.  Priest,  2.  acolyte  (Roman  Catholic  serv- 
ice), 3.  bride,  4.  groom,  5.  best  man, 
6.  matron  of  honor,  note:  In  elaborate 
Roman  Catholic  ceremonies  the  entire  wed- 
ding party  sometimes  enters  the  sanctuary  in 
a  large  church.  In  some  churches  this  is  not 
permitted  and  only  the  bride,  groom,  priest, 
and  acolyte  enter  the  sanctuary. 


bouquet  or  prayer  book  to  the  attendant  chosen  for  the  honor,  so  that  her 
left  hand  will  be  free  to  receive  the  wedding  ring. 

As  soon  as  the  marriage  service  is  completed  the  bride  turns  first  to  the 
maid  or  matron  of  honor  for  her  bouquet  and  to  have  her  face  veil,  if  she 
has  one,  lifted.  She  then  turns,  and,  although  this  is  not  part  of  the  cere- 
mony, receives  the  groom's  kiss  if  they  have  decided  to  kiss  at  the  altar  (see 
"When  Does  the  Groom  Kiss  the  Bride?"),  and  the  good  wishes  of  the 
clergyman,  who  usually  shakes  hands  with  both  bride  and  groom. 

The  bride  then  turns  and  takes  the  groom's  right  arm,  and— after  the  maid 
of  honor  has  adjusted  her  train— together  they  lead  off  in  the  recessional. 

67 


when  does  the  bride  take  the  groom's  arm?  In  the  wedding  ceremony, 
although  the  groom  takes  a  step  or  two  forward  to  meet  the  bride  and  may 
take  her  arm  to  assist  her  to  kneel,  if  that  is  part  of  the  ceremony,  the  bride 
does  not  take  the  groom's  arm  or  place  her  hand  in  his  until  the  moment  in 
the  ceremony  at  which  this  is  indicated.  In  some  ceremonies  the  clergyman 
places  the  bride's  hand  in  the  groom's,  in  others  the  father— or  sometimes 
the  mother— makes  this  symbolic  gesture.  At  other  times  the  bride  needs  her 
hands  free  to  arrange  her  gown  for  kneeling,  to  hand  her  prayer  book  or 
jouquet  to  her  attendant.  The  groom  may  assist  her  to  rise  from  a  kneeling 
position,  but  she  must  not  touch  him  until  the  proper  moment. 

when  does  the  groom  kiss  the  brtde?  At  large  formal  church  weddings 
it  is  not  usual  for  the  groom  to  kiss  the  bride  at  the  altar  after  the  clergyman 
has  congratulated  the  couple  at  the  end  of  the  ceremony.  But  if  the  couple 
is  to  receive  in  the  church  vestibule  or  if  the  marriage  takes  place  at  home, 
the  groom  always  kisses  the  bride  immediately  following  the  ceremony,  as 
no  one  may  kiss  the  bride  before  he  does.  The  clergyman,  if  he  has  long 
been  an  intimate  of  the  family,  may  be  the  next  to  have  the  privilege,  but 
on  the  receiving  line  the  bride  is  kissed  only  by  those  who  really  have  the 
right  to  offer  this  intimate  form  of  salutation.  Gay  blades  and  old  codgers, 
impelled  to  kiss  the  bride  merely  because  they  think  custom  sanctions  it, 
should  check  their  exuberance  and  wait  for  the  suggestion,  if  any,  to  come 
from  the  bride— or  the  groom.  The  latter  might  be  heard  to  say,  "Darling, 
this  is  Alfred,  my  old  roommate— remember— and  he's  dying  to  kiss  you,  of 
course.  So  I'll  permit  it— this  once!" 

IF   AN    ATTENDANT  DROPS    OUT 

No  attendant  asks  to  be  excused  from  the  bridal  party  except  for  some  very 
good  reason— illness  or  such  a  recent  death  in  his  or  her  immediate  family 
that  burial  does  not  take  place  before  the  wedding  day.  In  any  case,  the 
bride  or  groom  is  faced  with  a  difficult  problem  in  trying  to  replace  the 
missing  attendant.  It  may  be  easier  for  them  to  leave  the  bridal  party  as  it 
is  and  let  the  uneven  usher  walk  alone,  if  it's  a  man  who's  missing,  or  the 
extra  bridesmaid  precede  the  maid  or  matron  of  honor  alone  in  the  proces- 
sional. The  friend  who  is  asked  at  the  very  last  minute  to  fill  in  at  anything 
so  formal  as  a  bridal  procession  may  well  be  accepting  at  considerable  in- 
convenience, while  wondering  why  he  was  not  asked  to  be  a  member  of  the 
party  from  the  beginning. 

THE    DOUBLE    RING    CEREMONY 

When  both  bride  and  groom  give  each  other  rings  the  question  often  arises 
as  to  who  holds  the  groom's  ring  until  the  proper  moment.  It  is  the  maid 
or  matron  of  honor  who  is  in  charge  of  the  groom's  ring  just  as  the  best 
man  is  always  responsible  for  the  bride's  until  the  moment  the  groom  slips 
it  on  her  finger.  The  bride's  attendant  wears  the  groom's  ring  for  safekeeping. 

68 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF   LIFE 


If  it  won't  stay  on  any  finger  it  should  be  tied  with  a  small  white  satin  ribbon 
to  her  sash  or  belt,  her  bouquet  or  her  left  wrist,  so  she  can  get  it  off  easily. 
A  man's  wedding  ring  was  customarily  worn  on  the  right  hand,  but  in 
recent  years,  when  the  double  ring  ceremony  became  very  popular  during 
wartime,  the  ring  was  placed  on  the  man's  left  hand.  So  now  it  is  worn 
on  the  third  finger  of  either  the  right  or  left  hand,  whichever  the  bride  and 
bridegroom  prefer.  The  groom's  ring  is  always  a  gift  from  the  bride.  As  it  is 
gold  and  perfectly  plain,  it  may  not  necessarily  match  hers,  as  it  used  to. 

WHEN    THE    BRIDE'S    MOTHER    GIVES    HER   AWAY 

If  the  bride's  father  is  dead  the  bride's  mother  may  give  her  away— if  a 
brother,  an  uncle,  or  some  other  male  relative  hasn't  been  selected  for  the 
honor.  There  are  several  ways  this  may  be  done.  Either  the  bride's  mother 
may  walk  down  the  aisle  with  her  daughter— but  not,  of  course,  with  the 
bride  on  her  arm— or  the  bride  may  walk  in  the  processional  with  her  brother 
or  other  male  relative  and  her  mother  will  join  her  as  the  bride  reaches  the 
left  front  pew.  Sometimes  the  bride  walks  alone  in  the  processional  and  her 
mother  joins  her  as  she  reaches  her  mother's  pew.  Still  again,  a  male  relative 
will  escort  the  bride  to  the  chancel  steps  and  when  the  clergyman  asks  who 
is  to  give  the  bride  away  the  mother  nods  from  her  traditional  place  or,  just 
before  the  words  are  to  be  spoken,  is  escorted  to  the  chancel  by  the  best 
man,  who  steps  down  for  the  gesture.  This  is  necessary  only  in  those  cere- 
monies—the Episcopalian,  for  example— where  the  one  who  "gives  the  bride 
away"  actually  places  her  hand  in  the  minister's. 

GIVING    AWAY   THE    MATURE    BRIDE 

In  the  weddings  of  mature  brides— widows  or  divorcees— it  is  not  necessary 
that  they  be  "given  away,"  and  this  portion  of  the  ceremony  is  often  omitted, 
just  as  it  is  in  civil  ceremonies  when  there  are  no  designated  attendants, 
merely  legal  witnesses. 

But  the  older  woman  who  has  a  church  wedding  usually  chooses  to  be 
escorted  to  the  church  by  some  male  relative  or  close  family  friend,  also 
male,  although  she  may  arrive  with  the  best  man,  the  groom,  and  her  own 
attendant.  She  does  not  walk  up  the  church  aisle  but  waits  with  the  groom, 
best  man,  and  maid  of  honor  in  the  vestry  until  the  clergyman  is  ready,  then 
is  escorted  to  her  place  at  the  chancel  by  the  best  man,  while  the  groom 
escorts  the  maid  or  matron  of  honor. 

THE    DOUBLE    WEDDING 

Double  weddings  with  the  brides  in  formal  wedding  gowns  are  most  im- 
pressive. Sometimes  the  brides  are  sisters  who  wish  to  marry  at  the  same 
time,  occasionally  cousins,  or  just  close  friends,  although  in  some  denomina- 
tions the  brides  must  be  related.  The  double  wedding  does  not,  of  course, 

69 


processional  at  double  wedding,  Chris- 
tian Ceremony,  Optional  Arrangement 
Reading  from  top  down:  Younger  bride 
with  father  or  substitute    (see  text)    if 
brides  are  sisters. 

Maid  or  matron  of  honor  of  younger 
bride. 

Bridesmaids  of  younger  bride. 

Senior  bride  and  father. 

Maid  or  matron  of  honor  of  senior  bride. 

Bridesmaids  of  elder  bride. 

Ushers  paired  according  to  height. 

recessional   at   double   wedding,    Chris- 
tian Ceremony,  Optional  Arrangement 
Reading  from  top  down:  Elder  bride  and 
groom. 

Younger  bride  and  groom. 

Maids  and  matrons  of  honor  of  both 
brides,  paired. 

Ushers  of  elder  bride  paired  with  brides- 
maids of  elder  brides. 

Ushers  of  younger  bride  paired  with 
bridesmaids  of  younger  bride,  or  they 
may  go  out  as  they  came  in. 


/ s, 

ALTAR  N 


r 


70 


PART    ONE      THE   CEREMONIES   OF   LIFE 

have  to  be  formal,  and  the  brides,  whether  in  formal  attire  or  in  simple 
traveling  suits  or  street  dresses,  need  not  be  dressed  alike. 

In  a  formal  double  wedding  if  each  bride  and  groom  have  separate 
attendants  it  is  necessary  that  they  have  the  same  number  and  that  the 
costumes  of  the  brides'  attendants  at  least  harmonize  with  each  other.  Some- 
times sisters  have  the  same  attendants.  The  brides  may  act  as  maid  and 
matron  of  honor  for  each  other,  or  each  may  have  separate  honor  attendants. 
The  grooms,  too,  may  act  as  best  men  for  each  other,  or  each  have  his  own 
best  man. 

In  a  double  wedding  all  the  ushers  are  paired  according  to  height  in  the 
processional.  They  are  followed  by  the  elder's  bridesmaids,  then  her  maid  or 
matron  of  honor,  then  comes  the  senior  bride  on  her  father's  arm,  followed 
by  the  bridesmaids  of  the  younger  bride.  After  them  comes  the  maid  or 
matron  of  honor  of  the  younger  bride,  then  the  bride  herself  on  her  father's 
arm,  unless  she  is  a  sister  of  the  elder  bride.  In  that  case  a  brother  or  other 
male  relative  escorts  her. 

In  the  recessional  the  elder  bride,  who  was  married  first,  leads  down  the 
chancel  steps  with  her  groom  and  is  followed  by  the  younger  bride  with  her 
groom.  The  attendants  follow  in  the  proper  order— those  of  the  first  bride, 
first,  or  paired  with  those  of  the  second  bride  if  an  equal  number  makes  it 
possible.  Otherwise,  they  leave  as  they  arrived. 

If  a  church  has  two  aisles,  each  bridal  party  may  have  its  own,  timing  the 
entrance  and  exit  together. 

All  the  ushers  of  both  groups  must  be  identically  dressed,  even  when  the 
bridesmaids'  costumes  differ  for  each  bride.  The  only  time,  by  the  way, 
ushers  may  ever  be  dressed  differently  is  when  civilians  and  military  men 
serve  together. 

The  mothers  of  the  brides  are  escorted  up  the  aisle  by  ushers  in  the  usual 
way  just  before  the  ceremony  begins,  with  the  mother  of  the  elder  bride 
coming  first.  In  entering  the  first  pew  they  leave  room  between  them  for 
the  fathers. 


CHILDREN    AT    SECOND    MARRIAGES 

It  is  poor  taste  for  children  of  a  first  marriage  to  even  attend  the  marriage 
of  either  parent  the  second  time,  if  a  divorce  has  taken  place.  It  is  quite 
incorrect  for  children  to  attend  their  mother  in  a  second  marriage  if  she  has 
been  divorced.  They  may  be  present,  or  attend  her,  only  if  she  has  been 
widowed.  Where  there  is  remarriage  after  divorce  and  there  are  children  of 
a  previous  marriage  old  enough  to  understand  and  perhaps  resent  all  the 
implications  of  the  new  marriage,  it  is  certainly  more  tactful  to  be  married 
without  any  but  the  necessary  legal  witnesses  than  to  have  a  small  wedding 
from  which  the  children  must  be  excluded.  Etiquette  has  been  devised  over 
the  centuries  to  cushion  our  sensibilities.  In  cases  such  as  this  we  should 
never  forget  that  children  have  the  most  acute  sensibilities  of  all. 

71 


THE    THIRTY-ISH    BRIDE 

If  a  woman  has  reached  her  late  thirties,  then  marries  for  the  first  time, 
should  she  wear  a  wedding  veil  and  have  a  formal  wedding?  Many  women 
of  nearly  forty  today  look  very  much  younger.  If  such  a  bride  feels  she  can 
still  wear  the  bridal  gown  on  which  she's  planned  so  long  and  still  look  her 
very  best,  let  her  wear  it.  She  may  find  ivory,  champagne,  or  pale  blue  more 
becoming  than  pure  white.  But  if  she  plans  to  have  bridesmaids  and  must 
consider  that  her  close  friends,  presumably  of  the  same  age,  may  not  look 
their  best  in  the  traditional  costumes  of  bridesmaids,  she  may  decide  to  wear 
the  prettiest  afternoon  gown  she  can  find,  or  the  most  becoming  traveling 
suit,  and  forgo  the  luxury  of  a  wedding  gown  and  formal  wedding. 

DIFFERENCES    IN    RELIGIOUS    CEREMONIES 

It  is  interesting  to  see  how  essentially  alike  are  the  marriage  services  of 
different  religions.  Most  Christian  ceremonies  are  similar  with  but  minor 
differences.  As  the  Christian  ceremony  developed  from  that  of  the  ancient 
Jews,  there  is  between  Jewish  and  Christian  ceremonies  a  definite  similarity. 

the  roman  catholic  ceremony  In  the  Roman  Catholic  ceremony  the  father 
does  not  give  the  bride  away,  although  he  does  accompany  her  up  the 
church  aisle.  As  he  reaches  his  own  pew  he  steps  into  it,  leaving  the  bride  to 
make  the  few  steps  to  the  altar  with  the  bridegroom,  who  comes  forward  to 
assist  her.  The  ring  is  blessed  first  by  the  priest  before  it  is  given  to  the 
groom.  Sometimes  the  entire  wedding  party  enters  the  sanctuary  for  the 
service,  with  the  bride  on  the  left  arm  of  the  groom.  Some  priests  prefer  that 
only  the  couple  enter  the  sanctuary  for  the  blessing  of  the  ring  (with  an 
acolyte  managing  the  bridal  train),  then  return  to  the  chancel  steps  for  the 
balance  of  the  ceremony. 

Only  if  both  bride  and  groom  are  Catholics  may  the  marriage  be  cele- 
brated before  the  church  altar.  Otherwise,  by  special  dispensation,  a  Cath- 
olic and  non-Catholic  marry  in  the  church  rectory,  sacristy,  or  even  in  the 
church,  but  the  marriage  must  be  performed  by  a  Catholic  priest.  Marriages 
of  Catholics  and  non-Catholics  are  also  performed  at  home  or  elsewhere  by 
special  permission,  again  with  a  priest  officiating. 

Civil  marriage  involving  a  Catholic  is  not  recognized  by  the  Catholic 
Church.  In  mixed  marriages  performed  by  a  Catholic  priest,  in  which  one 
is  a  Catholic  and  one  a  non-Catholic,  the  non-Catholic  must  agree  to  raise 
children  in  the  Catholic  faith.  It  is  not  usual  for  a  Catholic  priest  to  perform 
the  marriage  ceremony  unless  at  least  one  of  the  two  participants  is  Catholic. 

Jewish  ceremonies  The  Jewish  religion  has  three  denominations— the  Ortho- 
dox, or  traditional,  whose  rituals  go  back  many,  many  centuries;  the  Conserva- 
tive, which  is  less  strict;  and  the  Reform,  which  is  the  most  lenient  of  all  and 
has  among  other  things  no  interdictions  concerning  food. 

A  friend  once  told  me  that  in  her  opinion  the  very  beauty  and  impressive- 

72 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF   LIFE 


orthodox  Jewish  ceremony  at  altar,  Optional  Arrangement:  1.  Rabbi, 
2.  groom,  3.  bride,  4.  best  man,  5.  maid  or  matron  or  honor,  6.  groom's 
father  and  mother,  7.  bride's  father  and  mother,  8.  bridesmaids,  in  aisle, 
9.  ushers,  note:  The  arrangement  of  the  wedding  party  is  not  a  matter  of 
rabbinical  law  but  of  social  custom,  hence  it  varies.  For  example,  parents 
may  be  under  the  canopy  if  there  is  room.  Sometimes  only  the  fathers  take 
part,  and  their  placement  is  optional. 


ness  of  the  Jewish  wedding  ceremony  must  be  a  vital  factor  in  holding  Jewish 
couples  together— for  the  Jewish  divorce  rate  is  the  lowest  of  any  religious 
group,  even  though  divorce  is  not  forbidden  (as  it  is  among  Catholics). 

A  rabbi  of  an  Orthodox  or  Conservative  synagogue  will  not  marry  divorced 
persons  who  have  received  only  civil  decrees.  A  religious  divorce  decree  is  also 
necessary.  Reform  Judaism  gives  religious  recognition  to  a  civil  divorce  and 
therefore  does  not  require,  in  addition,  a  religious  divorce. 

Before  the  ceremony  the  bride  usually  receives  the  wedding  guests  in  an 
anteroom  of  the  place  where  she  is  to  be  married.  Seated  with  her  attendants, 
she  sees  all  but  the  groom  before  the  ceremony.  In  liberal  temples,  however, 
she  may  even  see  him. 

The  Orthodox  wedding  ceremony  begins  with  three  benedictions— "The 
Betrothal  Benedictions."  This  is  followed  by  the  Ring  Ceremony;  then  the 
reading  of  the  marriage  contract— "Kesubah,"  which  is  in  Aramaic.  The  "seven 
marriage  benedictions"  are  then  read.  In  some  ceremonies  musical  partic- 
ipants, the  cantor  and  the  choir,  may  chant  the  responses  and  sing  special 
nuptial  songs. 

73 


ORTHODOX      JEWISH      PROCESSIONAL 

and  recessional,  Optional  Ar- 
rangements 

processional  Reading  from  top 
down  far  left:  Bride's  mother, 
bride,  bride's  father. 

Flower  girl  or  page,  if  any. 

Maid  or  matron  of  honor. 

Groom's  mother  (left),  groom, 
groom's  father. 

Best  man. 

Babbi,  not  in  processional  or  re- 
cessional if  ceremony  takes  place 
in  a  temple  or  synagogue. 

recessional  left:  Bride  and  groom. 

Bride's  parents. 

Groom's  parents. 

(Flower  girl  or  page  not  in  re- 
cessional, necessarily. ) 

Maid  or  matron  of  honor  and 
best  man. 

Babbi.  note:  In  Jewish  cere- 
mony the  left  side  is  the  bride's. 
Attendants,  if  any,  come  up  the 
aisle,  paired,  before  the  rabbi 
and  may  form  a  guard  of  honor 
through  which  the  procession 
walks. 


When  the  Orthodox  ceremony  is  held  in  a  synagogue  the  bride  stands  to 
the  groom's  right  before  the  Ark  of  the  Covenant,  which  corresponds  to  the 
altar,  with  its  cross  or  crucifix,  of  most  Christian  faiths.  The  bride  wears  the 
traditional  wedding  gown  and  veil  in  a  formal  ceremony— exactly  like  that  of 
the  Christian  bride.  She  has  the  same  attendants,  too— maid  or  matron  of  honor 
and  bridesmaids  if  she  wishes.  Sometimes  both  fathers  and  both  mothers  take 
part  in  the  ceremony  and  in  the  processional  accompany  the  bride  and  groom. 
In  the  recessional  both  mothers  and  fathers  may  walk  together  side  by  side. 
(  See  illustration. ) 

In  the  Jewish  ceremony  it  is  usually  the  right  side  of  the  synagogue  or 
temple,  as  one  enters,  which  is  the  bride's,  the  left,  the  groom's.  However, 
this  varies  according  to  custom.  In  Beform  practice,  the  right  side  of  the 
synagogue,  as  one  enters,  is  reserved  for  the  groom's  family  and  the  left  side 
for  the  family  of  the  bride.  Whether  or  not  the  ceremony  takes  place  in  a 
synagogue,  the  couple  is  wed  beneath  a  canopy  supported  on  standards  and 

74 


PART    ONE      THE   CEREMONIES   OF   LIFE 

symbolizing  home.  Under  the  canopy  with  them  stand  the  rabbi  and,  usually, 
their  two  principal  attendants.  If  the  canopy  or  chupah  is  large  enough,  the 
four  parents  stand  beneath  it  too,  otherwise  they  stand  outside  the  fringe. 
Next  to  the  rabbi,  who  faces  the  bride  and  groom,  is  a  small  covered  table 
containing  two  cups  of  ritual  wine  and,  for  the  Orthodox  and  Conservative 
ceremonies,  two  glasses  wrapped  with  a  snowy  napkin.  The  service  begins 
with  the  blessing  of  the  wine.  The  service  is  in  Hebrew  and  Aramaic  in  the 
Orthodox  and  Conservative  synagogues.  By  law  in  some  states,  however,  it  is 
in  English,  with  the  rabbi's  address  to  the  couple  either  in  Yiddish  or  in  the 
language  of  the  congregation.  For,  as  not  all  Catholics  understand  all  the 
Latin  of  their  services,  so  Jews  do  not  necessarily  understand  Hebrew  and 
Aramaic.  In  the  Reform  practice  most  of  the  service  is  in  English,  only  a  few 
of  the  blessings  are  in  Hebrew,  and  only  one  glass  is  used. 

After  the  wine  is  blessed  the  rabbi  passes  one  glass  of  wine  to  the  groom, 
who  takes  a  sip  and  gives  it  to  the  bride.  Then  comes  the  ring  ceremony  with 
the  ring,  in  the  Orthodox  ceremony,  always  plain  gold.  The  best  man  hands 
it  to  the  rabbi,  who,  in  those  states  that  require  it,  says  in  English,  "Dost 
thou  take  this  woman  to  be  thy  wedded  wife?"  receiving  the  usual  responses 
in  English.  Then,  in  the  Orthodox  and  Conservative  services,  the  ring  is  placed 
on  the  bride's  right  index  finger  directly  by  the  groom,  though  any  time  after 
the  ceremony  she  may  remove  it  and  place  it  on  what  our  Western  society 
considers  the  proper  wedding  ring  finger.  In  the  Reform  service  the  ring  is 
placed  on  the  bride's  left  ring  finger. 

The  ring  ceremony  is  followed  by  the  rabbi's  short  address  in  English  (or 
the  language  of  the  congregation)  to  the  couple  on  the  sanctity  of  marriage 
and  his  own  personal  interest  in  their  future  welfare. 

Then  comes  the  ceremonial  drinking  of  the  second  glass  of  wine  by  both 
bride  and  groom.  The  Seventh  Blessing,  culminating  in  the  Orthodox  and 
Conservative  services  with  the  crushing  of  the  second  glass  beneath  the  foot 
of  the  bridegroom,  symbolizes  the  sacking  of  the  Temple  of  Jerusalem  and 
is  an  admonition  to  the  congregation  that  despite  the  happiness  of  the  occasion 
all  should  remember  and  work  for  the  rebuilding  of  Zion. 

The  reception-with-collation  that  follows  Jewish  weddings  is  exactly  like 
other  receptions  except  that  a  special  nuptial  grace  is  always  offered  after  food. 

As  in  the  Catholic  ceremony,  the  Jewish  does  not  require  the  father  to  give 
his  daughter  in  marriage.  In  the  Reform  service,  the  father  escorts  his  daugh- 
ter on  his  right  arm  up  the  aisle  to  the  groom  who,  with  his  best  man,  awaits 
her  at  the  altar.  In  the  Orthodox  and  Conservative  ceremony  both  sets  of 
parents  accompany  the  bride  and  groom  respectively  to  the  altar,  taking  their 
places  under  or  near  the  chupah.  In  the  Reform  service  the  parents  do  not 
stand  up  with  their  children. 

In  Orthodox  and  Conservative  Jewish  weddings  all  males  in  the  assemblage 
must  cover  their  heads.  They  wear  the  traditional  skull  caps  or  their  own  hats. 
Synagogues  have  skull  caps  available  in  the  vestibule  for  men  who  arrive  with- 
out their  hats.  In  Orthodox  synagogues  men  and  women  do  not  sit  together 

75 


except  during  a  marriage  ceremony.  In  both  Reform  temples  and  Conserva- 
tive synagogues  men  and  women  sit  together  and  in  the  Reform  temples  men 
do  not  wear  hats. 

In  the  Reform  service  the  wedding  canopy  is  not  required,  no  glass  is 
broken,  and  the  rabbi  does  not  read  the  marriage  certificate  in  Aramaic. 

No  Orthodox  or  Conservative  rabbi  ever  officiates  at  a  mixed  marriage  and 
many  Reform  rabbis  will  not.  However,  though  Jews  do  not  seek  converts, 
the  non-Jewish  partner  in  a  proposed  mixed  marriage  may  go  through  a 
period  of  instruction  and  then  be  taken  into  the  Congregation  as  a  Jew. 
Any  rabbi  may  then  perform  the  marriage. 

the  christian  science  ceremony  As  Christian  Science  readers  are  not  or- 
dained ministers  of  the  church,  merely  elected  officers,  they  may  not  perform 
the  marriage  ceremony.  When  members  of  the  Christian  Science  faith  are 
married,  the  ceremony  is  performed  by  an  ordained  minister  of  the  gospel, 
legally  authorized  to  perform  such  a  duty,  or  by  the  proper  legal  authority. 

eastern  orthodox  weddings  The  Eastern  Orthodox  Church,  the  Holy  East- 
ern Orthodox  Catholic  Apostolic  Church,  has  numerous  followers  among 
White  Russians,  Greeks,  Rumanians,  and  various  Mediterranean  groups  in 
this  country.  It  has  many  ceremonial  forms  similar  to  those  of  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church  but  does  not  acknowledge  the  Pope  as  its  spiritual  leader. 

It  requires  the  publishing  of  banns  on  three  successive  Sundays,  and  some- 
times a  brief  betrothal  service  with  the  exchange  of  rings  is  held  in  the 
church. 

As  in  the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  the  bride  and  groom  must  fast,  make 
their  confessions,  and  take  Communion.  The  ceremony  is  celebrated  without 
Mass  and  always  takes  place  in  either  the  afternoon  or  evening. 

In  the  Eastern  Orthodox  Church  the  ceremony  does  not  take  place  at  the 
altar  but  before  a  table  placed  in  front  of  the  sanctuary  toward  the  center 
of  the  church.  Relatively  few  of  these  churches  have  pews,  a  modern  devel- 
opment, and  guests  must  stand  or  kneel  before  and  throughout  the  hour- 
long  service.  None  but  vocal  music  is  permitted,  and  the  bride  enters  to  the 
special  wedding  hymns  sung  by  the  choir.  The  procession  is  like  that  in 
other  Christian  services.  The  father  of  the  bride  gives  the  bride  away,  then 
returns  to  the  pew  with  her  mother. 

In  the  Eastern  Orthodox  service  the  mystical  number  three,  representing 
the  Trinity,  has  great  significance.  The  double  ring  ceremony  is  used— with 
the  rings  placed  on  the  right  hands  of  the  bride  and  groom.  The  priest 
blesses  the  rings  three  times  at  the  altar,  then  places  each  ring  first  on  the 
bride's  finger,  then  on  the  groom's.  Then  the  best  man  exchanges  the  rings 
three  times  on  the  fingers  of  the  bride  and  groom.  Just  before  the  final  vows 
are  taken  the  priest  binds  the  hands  of  the  bride  and  groom  together  and 
leads  them  three  times  around  the  table,  which  holds  the  Bible,  or  Scripture, 
a  cross,  a  chalice  of  wine,  candles,  and  flowers.  After  the  final  blessing  the 
choir  chants  "Many  Years"  three  times,  then  the  recessional  starts. 

76 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  <ff  2JFE 

Throughout  the  ceremony  the  bride  and  groom  hold  lighted  candles  sym- 
bolizing the  light  of  the  Lord.  During  the  ceremony  the  priest  places  gold 
crowns  on  their  heads. 

These  are  only  the  highlights  of  this  richly  impressive  ceremony,  usual 
in  all  Eastern  Orthodox  unions.  Only  during  emergencies  is  the  ritual  ever 
shortened. 

The  Church  makes  divorce  difficult  and  insists  on  a  religious  decree.  Re- 
marriage of  divorced  persons  is  permitted. 

the  Quaker  ceremony  Today  a  Quaker  marriage  ceremony  may  see  the  bride 
gowned  traditionally  and  veiled,  but  these  simple,  unpretentious  people 
believe  in  the  renunciation  of  worldly  display.  Their  ceremony  is  as  plain 
as  their  meeting  houses  and  impressive  in  its  quiet  sincerity. 

A  Quaker  wedding  may  take  place  in  the  meeting  house  or  in  a  private 
home  but  notice  of  intention  to  wed  is  made  by  the  couple  at  least  one 
monthly  meeting  in  advance  of  the  date  they  have  set.  It  is  necessary  for  at 
least  one  of  them  to  be  a  member  of  the  Society  of  Friends.  It  is  usual  for 
the  parents'  permission  to  be  appended  to  the  letter  of  request,  even  when 
the  couple  is  of  age.  After  the  letter  has  been  read  at  the  meeting  a  commit- 
tee of  two  women  and  two  men  is  appointed  to  discuss  with  the  bride  and 
groom,  respectively,  the  "clearness  to  proceed  with  marriage."  The  commit- 
tee may  discuss  marriage  and  its  obligations  with  the  couple  just  as  a  minis- 
ter would,  for  originally  the  Quakers  had  no  appointed  ministers  but  instead 
gathered  together  in  Quaker  silence,  speaking  up  in  meeting  as  the  inner 
spirit  moved  them  to  express  themselves.  (In  some  meetings  there  now  is  a 
regularly  appointed  minister,  especially  in  the  West.) 

The  committee  submits  a  report  on  its  conferences  with  the  couple  to 
the  monthly  meeting.  Overseers  are  then  appointed  to  attend  the  wedding 
and  to  advise  the  couple  on  the  marriage  procedure. 

On  the  wedding  day  bride  and  groom  come  down  the  aisle  together— or 
there  may  be  the  usual  wedding  procession— and  take  the  "facing  seats,"  the 
benches  that  face  the  meeting.  After  the  Quaker  silence  the  couple  rises  and 
takes  hands.  The  groom  says  words  to  the  effect  that  "in  the  presence  of  God 
I  take  thee  ...  to  be  my  wedded  wife  promising  with  divine  assistance 
to  be  unto  thee  a  loving  and  faithful  husband  as  long  as  we  both  shall  live." 
The  bride  repeats  the  answering  vow.  The  couple  is  then  seated  again,  and 
the  ushers  bring  forward  a  table  containing  the  Quaker  marriage  certificate. 
This  is  then  read  aloud,  signed  by  the  bride,  groom,  and  overseers,  and 
later  officially  registered.  The  regular  Quaker  meeting  follows. 

At  the  next  monthly  meeting  the  overseers  report  that  the  marriage  "was 
carried  out  to  the  good  order  of  friends."  Divorce  among  Quakers  is  rare. 

the  mormon  ceremony  There  are  two  kinds  of  marriage  among  the  Mormons 
(members  of  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of  Latter  Day  Saints).  The  first  is 
that  of  the  faithful  who  are  deemed  fit  to  be  married  in  the  temples  of  the 
church  by  those  holding  the  Holy  Priesthood.  In  pronouncing  the  couple 

77 


man  and  wife,  the  priest  declares  them  wed  "for  time  and  for  all  eternity" 
instead  of  "until  death  do  you  part."  Children  born  to  parents  so  married 
are  believed  by  the  Mormons  to  belong  to  them  in  the  eternal  world  by 
virtue  of  such  marriages. 

Where  members  of  the  Church  are  not  considered  worthy  to  be  married 
in  the  temple  for  time  and  for  all  eternity,  they  may  be  married  civilly  by 
Bishops  of  the  church  or  by  any  properly  accredited  person.  Later,  if  they 
comply  with  the  requirements  of  the  church  in  their  daily  living  they  may 
enter  the  temples  of  the  church  and  be  married  for  time  and  for  all  eternity 
despite  previous  civil  marriage. 

Mixed  marriage,  although  not  encouraged,  is  permitted.  Civil  divorce  is 
recognized  but  divorce  is  rare  among  those  married  in  the  temples. 

IF   THERE    IS    NO  RECEPTION 

At  a  small  church  wedding  not  followed  by  a  reception  the  bride  often  re- 
ceives with  the  groom,  her  mother,  and  the  bridesmaids  in  the  vestibule  of 
the  church  or  on  the  porch— if  there  is  one  in  a  country  church.  The  groom's 
mother,  if  she  is  unknown  in  the  community,  may  stand  next  to  the  bride's 
mother,  who  is  always  first  in  line,  and  have  guests  introduced  to  her  before 
they  pass  on  to  bride  and  groom.  Or,  if  she  is  known,  her  place  is  a  little 
beyond  the  bridesmaids.  The  father  of  the  bride  may  or  may  not  stand  in 
line,  but  he  usually  circulates  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  receiving  line  to 
share  in  the  glory  of  the  great  occasion.  The  father  of  the  groom  does  not 
receive  with  the  others  when  there  is  no  formal  reception. 


CHAPTER  FOUR 

THE  WEDDING  RECEPTION 


At  a  formal  reception  the  mother  of  the  bride  is  always  first  in  line,  as 
hostess,  usually  just  inside  the  door.  Next  to  her  stands  the  father  of  the 
groom,  then  the  groom's  mother,  and,  last,  the  bride's  father.  Then,  a  little 
apart,  begins  the  line  of  the  bridal  party— the  bride  to  the  groom's  right, 
the  groom,  the  maid  or  matron  of  honor,  and  the  bridesmaids.  Or  the  brides- 
maids may  be  divided  so  that  half  are  on  one  side  of  the  bride  with  the 
maid  or  matron  of  honor  and  the  other  half  alongside  of  the  groom.  If  there 
is  a  flower  girl  old  enough  to  stand  in  line  without  getting  too  restless 
(pretty  unthinkable,  I  should  say)  she  stands  next  to  the  groom.  The  line 
remains  intact  until  all  guests  have  been  greeted,  then  the  mother,  as  hostess, 
leads  the  group  to  the  bride's  table  and  the  parents'  table. 

78 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 


MUST    FATHERS    STAND   IN    LINE? 

At  very  formal  receptions  it  is  usual  for  the  fathers  of  the  bride  and  groom 
to  stand  in  line,  but  not  obligatory,  especially  if  the  father  of  the  groom  is  a 
member  of  the  community.  But  the  fathers  stay  in  the  neighborhood  of  the 
receiving  line,  if  not  actually  on  it,  to  make  introductions  and  see  that  guests 
are  directed  to  the  refreshment  tables. 

If  the  father  of  the  groom  is  quite  unknown  to  the  bride's  friends  it  is 
better  for  him  to  be  in  the  line  with  the  bride's  father,  so  he  will  feel  a  real 
part  of  the  important  proceedings. 

WHO    RECEIVES    IN    PLACE    OF   THE    BRIDE'S    MOTHER? 

If  the  bride  has  no  mother  to  receive  for  her  at  her  reception  her  father  may 
receive  just  inside  the  door  as  the  host,  or  he  may  request  a  female  relative, 
an  aunt,  cousin,  or  grandmother,  to  receive  with  him.  If  this  relative  is  not 
actually  a  member  of  the  household  the  father  may  be  first  in  line,  introduc- 
ing the  guests  to  the  honorary  hostess  as  they  file  past,  "This  is  Dorothy's 
Aunt  May.  May,  Mr.  Jordan,  one  of  our  neighbors." 

CONVERSATION   AND   THE    RECEIVING    LINE 

No  one  really  listens  to  what  you  say  on  the  receiving  line,  as  a  friend  of 
mine  once  dramatically  proved  by  muttering  something  utterly  incongruous 


RECEIVING      LINE     AT     WEDDING, 

Optional  Arrangement:  Bridal 
party  before  fireplace  banked 
with  flowers,  or  possibly  in 
front  of  picture  window. 
1.  Mother  of  bride,  2.  father 
of  groom  (optional,  see  text), 
3.  mother  of  groom  (optional, 
see  text),  4.  father  of  bride 
(optional,  see  text),  5,  6. 
bridesmaids,  7.  maid  or  ma- 
tron of  honor,  8.  bride,  9. 
groom,  10.  bridesmaid,  11. 
bridesmaid.  note:  What- 
ever arrangement,  the  bride 
is  on  the  groom's  right  except 
when  he's  in  uniform.  The 
best  man  is  never  on  the  line.  Exceptions:  Occa- 
sionally in  the  receiving  line  the  bride  must  stand 
on  the  groom's  left  for  convenience'  sake.  In  this  case 
the  line  must  be  routed  so  that  the  bride  is  reached 
first  by  the  guests.  If  the  groom's  father  acts  as  best 
man,  he  then  may  be  in  line. 


79 


as  he  made  his  way.  You  must  seem  cordial  and  happy  to  be  where  you  are. 
The  bride's  mother,  who— if  she  doesn't  know  you— has  received  your  name 
from  an  announcer,  passes  you  on  to  the  groom's  father,  or  mother,  or  who- 
ever is  next  in  line,  mentioning  your  name  and  if  you  are  someone  of  par- 
ticular importance,  such  as  a  great-aunt,  mentioning  the  relationship.  To 
each  you  say,  during  the  brief  handclasp,  "How  do  you  do,"  or  "Lovely 
wedding,"  or  "So  happy  to  meet  you."  To  the  bride  you  offer  "best  wishes" 
and  to  the  groom  "congratulations."  (Don't  congratulate  the  bride.  Offer 
your  felicitations.)  Your  pause  before  the  bridal  couple  may  be  perceptibly 
longer,  but  you  must  never  hold  up  the  receiving  line  with  long-drawn-out 
dissertations.  You  may  be  able  to  get  the  couple's  ear  sometime  during  the 
reception— but  even  then  remember  that  you  are  only  one  of  many  who 
deem  it  their  privilege  to  have  a  word  with  the  bride  or  groom. 

If  no  one  announces  you  as  you  approach  the  line,  announce  yourself. 
Don't  assume  that  the  bride's  mother,  who  has  perhaps  seen  you  only  a 
few  times,  is  going  to  remember  your  name  at  a  time  like  this.  Help  her 
out  by  saying,  "Peter  Gossett,  Mrs.  Kingsley.  Such  a  beautiful  wedding!" 

Women  guests  and  women  receiving  wear  their  gloves  while  the  line  is 
intact  but  may  remove  them  once  the  line  is  broken  up.  Hats,  if  worn,  may 
also  be  removed  once  the  reception  gets  under  way. 

how  to  address  the  bride  If  you  are  on  first-name  terms  with  the  groom 
and  you  are  an  older  relative  or  family  friend,  it  is  expected  that  you  call  the 
bride  by  her  first  name.  If  you  are  a  contemporary  of  the  groom's  and  on  a 
first-name  basis,  it  does  not  necessarily  follow  that  he  wishes  you  to  be  on 
the  same  basis  with  his  wife  unless  she  suggests  it,  especially  if  you  and  he 
merely  work  together.  He  may  be  "Bob"  to  you,  but,  especially  if  your  social 
contact  with  her  is  to  be  very  slight,  he  may  be  pleased  that  you  address 
his  wife  as  "Mrs.  Jones"  unless  you  are  urged  to  do  otherwise. 

what  does  the  bride  say?  The  bride  tries  to  make  each  acknowledgment 
of  a  guest's  meeting  sound  warm  and  personal.  She  repeats  the  name,  if 
possible,  "Mrs.  Osborn— so  very  nice  of  you  to  come  so  far  for  our  wedding," 
or  "Cousin  Hattie,  the  coffee  table  is  exactly  what  I  needed!"  Unless  she  is 
unusually  poised  and  calm,  she  is  safer  not  trying  to  remember  who  gave  her 
what  or  where  strangers  to  her  have  come  from.  She  will  have  to  write  her 
thank-you  notes  anyhow,  but  the  clever  bride  will  contrive  to  make  every- 
one imagine  that  she  remembers  each  gift,  in  detail,  and  that  she  has  been 
waiting  impatiently  to  receive  this  particular  felicitation  and  present  the 
guest  to  her  new  husband  or  vice  versa,  if  he  or  she  is  unknown  to  him. 

what  does  the  groom  say?  The  groom,  usually,  less  happy  than  the  bride 
over  the  necessity  of  the  receiving  line,  is  often  less  than  verbose.  He  says 
"Thank  you  so  much"  or  "Lovely,  isn't  she?"  or  "So  glad  you  could  come" 
before  he  introduces  the  guest  to  his  wife,  if  introduction  is  needed— other- 
wise he  passes  him  along  with  a  "Here  is  Tom,  Angela,"  or,  "Darling,  you 
know  Mrs.  Osborn." 

80 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF   LIFE 

But  the  groom,  no  matter  how  uncomfortable  he  may  feel  at  this  last 
necessary  formality  of  his  wedding,  must  look  happy  at  having  to  greet  even 
a  seemingly  endless  line  of  guests,  when  what  he  needs  after  all  he's  been 
through  is  a  tall  drink  and  his  bride  to  himself,  or  so  he  thinks.  This  is  his 
first  public  appearance  as  the  head  of  the  house,  and  he  is  at  this  moment 
as  much  on  display  as  the  bride— in  some  ways  more  so,  as  the  guests  had 
a  better  chance  to  see  the  bride  during  the  ceremony  than  they  did  him. 

MUSIC    AND    DANCING   AT    THE    RECEPTION 

It  is  not  essential  to  have  music  at  a  wedding  reception,  especially  if  quarters 
are  small  and  guests  numerous.  The  choice,  if  there  is  music,  is  a  trio— a  man 
who  plays  both  piano  and  accordion,  a  violinist,  and  a  guitarist  might  make 
a  happy  combination.  If  the  pianist  also  is  an  accordionist  the  trio  is  able  to 
move  through  the  rooms  or  over  the  lawn,  as  the  case  may  be,  serenading 
bride,  groom,  and  guests. 

For  very  large  weddings,  where  space  permits,  a  full  orchestra  with  a 
leader  is  sometimes  seen— but  this  is  doing  things  in  a  very  pretentious 
manner,  even  when  the  orchestra  can  convert  into  a  dance  band  after  the 
receiving  line  has  broken  up. 

During  the  actual  receiving  of  the  guests  the  music  is  restricted  to  light 
classical  selections.  After  the  line  has  received  all  the  guests  and  dispersed, 
dance  music  and  popular  songs  are  played  and  sung  by  the  musicians. 

THROWING   THE    BRIDE'S    BOUQUET 

The  bride's  bouquet  is  traditionally  thrown  to  the  assembled  bridesmaids 
just  before  the  bride  goes  to  dress  for  going  away.  The  bride  often  retains  a 
flower  or  two  for  pressing.  The  girl  who  catches  the  bouquet  is,  as  we  know, 
the  next  to  marry. 

Occasionally,  if  some  dear  relative,  such  as  a  grandmother,  can't  attend 
the  wedding,  the  bride  does  not  throw  her  bouquet  but  sends  it  to  the  person 
who  has  had  to  stay  at  home— with  everyone  understanding  and  sympathiz- 
ing with  her  action. 

THE    GROOM    GETS    THE    FIRST    DANCE    WITH    THE    BRIDE 

As  no  one  but  the  groom  must  kiss  the  bride  first,  so  no  one  may  dance  with 
her  before  he  does.  Dancing  does  not  start  until  the  couple  has  had  a  little 
rest  and  refreshment,  and  then,  at  the  signal,  the  groom  bows  his  bride  onto 
the  floor  and  she,  gathering  up  her  train,  if  any,  and  veil,  if  long,  on  her 
right  arm,  has  the  first  dance— usually  a  waltz  (and  not  "The  Merry 
Widow"!),  just  the  two  together  once  around  the  floor  as  onlookers  applaud. 
Then  the  bride's  father  leads  out  the  mother  of  the  groom  and  the  groom's 
father  dances  with  the  mother  of  the  bride.  Attendants  join  in,  candid 
camera  pictures  are  shot,  and  finally  the  guests  enter  the  dance  floor,  as 
they  desire. 

81 


The  bride  never  forgets  to  dance  with  her  father,  or  the  groom  with  his 
mother.  After  her  initial  dance  with  the  groom  the  bride  is  usually  claimed 
by  her  father-in-law,  and  the  groom  dances  with  his  mother-in-law  before 
asking  the  pretty  bridesmaids.  The  bride,  after  dancing  with  her  father, 
dances  next  with  the  best  man  and  then  with  each  of  the  ushers.  Guests 
may  dance  with  the  bride  after  all  her  "obligatory"  dances  are  over,  but 
they  should  not  insist,  unless  she  seems  still  daisy-fresh  and  really  interested 
in  remaining  on  the  dance  floor. 

After  the  bride  has  thrown  her  bouquet  dancing  may  continue,  but  usually 
it  begins  to  come  to  a  close  and  guests  start  leaving.  It  is  only  the  hardy 
late-stayers  who  remain  to  see  the  bride  off. 


THE    BRIDE'S    TABLE 

At  large  formal  receptions  there  is  a  bride's  table,  especially  decorated  with 
white  flowers  and  with  the  tiered  and  iced  wedding  cake  in  front  of  the 
bride  and  groom— the  groom  to  the  left  of  the  bride.  Only  members  of  the 
wedding  party— the  maid  or  matron  of  honor  to  the  right  of  the  groom,  the 
best  man  to  the  right  of  the  bride— are  expected  to  sit  at  the  bride's  table, 
but  if  some  of  the  attendants  are  married  it  is  courteous  of  the  bride  to  in- 
clude their  mates,  unless  it  is  certain  that  they  know  enough  people  present 
to  enjoy  themselves  anyhow.  But  it  is  preferable  for  the  unity  of  the  bridal 
party  to  be  kept  even  at  the  bridal  table. 

Even  when  the  guests  are  served  buffet,  the  bridal  table  is  waited  upon. 
As  soon  as  the  champagne  appears  the  best  man  proposes  the  first  toast  to 
the  bride,  with  other  toasts  following  as  the  guests  are  inspired  to  offer 
them— not  forgetting,  I  hope,  one  to  the  groom. 

At  the  end  of  the  repast  the  bride  rises— and  with  her  all  the  gentlemen 
at  the  table— to  cut  the  cake.  Usually  the  guests  are  told  that  the  propitious 
moment  has  arrived  and  gather  round. 

If  the  groom  is  in  uniform  the  cake  is  cut  with  his  dress  sword.  At  a 
civilian  wedding  a  silver  cake  knife  is  used,  and  it  may  have  its  handle 
decorated  with  a  streamer  of  white  satin  ribbons  knotted  with  bridal 
flowers.  The  bride  cuts  only  the  first  slice,  with  the  groom's  help,  and  she 
and  the  groom  share  it. 


the  bride's  table,  seating  optional,  see  text.  Reading  from  left  to  right:  Usher, 
bridesmaid,  best  man,  bride,  groom,  maid  or  matron  of  honor,  bridesmaid, 
usher. 

8a 


PART    ONE      THE   CEREMONIES   OF   LIFE 


THE   TABLE    FOR    THE    PARENTS 

At  a  wedding  buffet,  breakfast,  or  supper  there  may  be  a  table  for  the 
bride's  parents  if  there  is  a  special  bride's  table,  but  not  otherwise.  It  is 
larger  than  the  guest  tables  and  is  the  same  except  for  place  cards.  Place- 
ment of  guests  is  as  follows:  father  of  groom  to  right  of  bride's  mother,  who 
is  the  table's  hostess.  Opposite  the  bride's  mother  sits  the  bride's  father  with 
the  groom's  mother  to  his  right.  The  other  guests  at  the  table  may  include 
the  clergyman  and  his  wife.  If  a  high-ranking  church  official  performed  the 
ceremony,  or  a  judge  or  mayor,  he  is  always  placed  to  the  left  of  the  hostess 
and  his  wife,  if  present,  sits  on  the  left  of  the  host.  Very  distinguished  guests 
are  seated  at  this  table,  but  essentially  it  is  for  the  parents  and  a  few  of 
their  close  friends. 

WHEN    THERE    IS    NO    BRIDE'S    TABLE 

When  food  served  at  a  reception  includes  no  more  than  two  courses— say 
chicken  salad  and  ice  cream— the  dishes  may  be  served  in  part,  at  least,  from 
a  buffet  table  whose  major  decoration  is  the  wedding  cake.  When  there  is 
room,  guests,  either  serving  themselves  or  being  served  by  the  caterer's  men 
or  waitresses,  may  be  seated  at  small  tables— bridge  tables  are  usual  at  a 
home  reception.  But  often  they  eat  standing,  with  the  only  service  the 
clearing  away  of  the  plates  and  the  passing  of  the  punch  or  champagne. 

When  there  is  no  formal  bridal  table  at  which  all  the  wedding  party— 
except  the  parents— are  to  be  served  together  it  is  pleasant  for  the  bride  and 
groom  alone  to  be  provided  with  a  small  table  to  which  they  may  retire  for 
refreshments  after  receiving.  Although  the  guests  may  have  been  to  the 
buffet  table  for  food  and  have  had  several  rounds  of  champagne  before  the 
weary  bride  and  groom  have  a  chance  to  get  off  their  feet  for  a  few  minutes 
before  going  on  with  their  duties,  guests  must  wait  until  the  bride  has 
finished  eating  before  the  cake  can  be  cut  and  dancing  can  begin. 


seating  at  PARENTS'  table,  table  optional.  1.  Bride's  mother,  2.  father  of 
groom,  3.  father  of  bride,  4.  mother  of  groom,  5.  important  officiating  clergy- 
man's wife,  6.  officiating  clergyman  {or  see  text),  7,  8,  9,  10,  11,  12,  13,  14, 
friends  of  parents. 

83 


It  is  better  to  serve  guests  with  champagne  or  punch  just  as  each  leaves 
the  line  and  to  make  refreshments  immediately  available  than  to  wait  until 
the  bride  is  through  receiving  hundreds  of  guests— at  a  large  reception— 
before  there  is  any  sign  of  food.  Many  wise  people  prefer  a  little  food  with 
champagne  or  punch  as  a  stabilizer,  and  there  are  always  guests  who  must 
leave  early  or  who  have  dinner  engagements.  For  them,  too,  it  is  preferable 
to  have  refreshments  early  rather  than  late,  as  the  food  at  a  wedding  recep- 
tion is  rarely  geared  to  substitute  for  a  regular  meal— with  the  exception  of 
that  at  a  wedding  breakfast. 

THE    WEDDING    BREAKFAST 

The  wedding  breakfast  is  actually  lunch— three  courses.  When  guests  are 
seated  it  includes  a  soup  course,  such  as  hot  clam  broth  with  whipped 
cream,  a  main  dish,  such  as  sweetbreads  en  broche  with  green  peas  and 
potato  balls,  plus  small  biscuits  and  lettuce  salad,  and  for  dessert  ice  cream 
in  fancy  molds,  petits  fours  or  tiny  petits  fours  glaces,  demitasses,  and,  of 
course,  the  bridal  champagne  or  at  least  a  fine  white  wine  to  be  served 
with  the  luncheon,  sometimes  both. 

When  the  wedding  breakfast  is  served  buffet  and  there  is  no  way  of 
seating  guests,  even  at  small  tables,  the  soup  course  is  usually  omitted  and 
the  collation  limited  to  two  courses.  There  may  be  something  like  whole 
salmon  mayonnaise  with  wilted  cucumbers  and  dill,  green  salad,  ice  cream, 
not  necessarily  in  forms,  little  cakes,  demitasses,  and  a  good  white  wine  or 
champagne,  or  both. 

THE    WEDDING    CAKE 

The  tiered  wedding  cake  may  be  a  caterer's  dream  or  it  may  be  made  in  the 
kitchen  of  the  bride  and  be  as  simple  or  as  elaborate  as  the  cook  can 
manage.  It  need  not  be  topped  with  the  miniature  of  the  bride  and  groom, 
as  is  so  often  seen,  but  may  be  covered  with  charming  sugar  flowers  in 
pastel  colors  with  pale  green  leaves.  Or  it  may  be  decorated  with  a  pastry 
tube  in  white  and  pastel  icing  or  plain  white.  The  most  popular  cakes  are 
the  silver  cake,  which  is  made  with  the  egg  whites  alone  and  is  light  and 
airy,  the  gold  cake,  a  yellow  pound  cake  which  is  richer,  and  the  dark,  rich 
fruit  cake,  most  expensive  of  all.  It  should  have  nothing  "written"  upon  it 
with  icing,  however.  This  sort  of  decoration  is  reserved  for  birthday  cakes. 
The  occasional  exception  is  the  "ring  cake"— a  wedding  cake  baked  in  the 
shape  of  the  wedding  ring  and  which  may  have  the  bride's  initials,  first, 
then  the  groom's  to  the  right,  in  icing  on  the  "band."  Often  little  bridal 
favors  are  baked  in  the  cake  to  tell  fortunes. 

boxed  wedding  cakes  Real  black  fruit  cakes,  wrapped  in  foil  and  boxed  in  tiny, 
white,  satin-tied  boxes,  are  a  luxury  these  days  because  of  the  hand  labor 
they  entail.  But  they  are  a  charming  gift  to  her  guests  for  the  bride  who  can 
afford  this  extra  but  no-longer-necessary  expense 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 

If  boxed  wedding  cake  is  to  be  given,  it  is  essential  that  one  is  at  each 
place  at  the  bridal  table  and  that  some  one  person,  friend  or  retainer,  be 
designated  to  give  them  out  to  departing  guests. 

As  everyone  knows,  wedding  cake  placed  under  the  pillow  of  a  guest 
brings  prophetic  dreams.  And  a  bride  who  looks  serenely  into  a  long  and 
happy  future  with  her  husband  puts  aside  boxes  of  her  wedding  cake  to 
open  on  her  major  wedding  anniversaries.  She  may  even  be  able  to  nibble  a 
piece  with  her  husband  when  she  reaches  her  Golden  Wedding,  and  enjoy 
it,  too,  for  good  fruit  cake  grows  mellower  with  age. 


PROBLEMS    OF    THE    DIVIDED    HOUSE 

If  the  parents  of  the  bride  are  separated  but  not  divorced  they  issue  a  joint 
invitation  to  their  daughter's  wedding  and  take  their  accustomed  part  in 
the  ceremony  as  if  there  were  no  difference.  For  her  sake,  too,  both  officiate 
at  the  reception. 

Sometimes  when  divorce  has  taken  place  the  mother  gives  the  wedding 
and  the  father  the  reception.  If  he  has  not  married  again,  he  stands  first  in 
the  line  to  receive  the  guests.  If  he  has  remarried,  his  wife  acts  as  hostess. 
If  the  bride's  mother  should  attend  the  reception  under  the  latter  circum- 
stances, as  might  well  happen  in  some  instances,  she  comes  as  a  guest,  as 
she  cannot  stand  at  the  side  of  her  former  husband  in  his  new  home  and 
share  the  duties  of  hostess  with  his  wife.  If,  however,  her  former  husband 
has  not  remarried  she  could  stand  with  him  on  the  receiving  line  in  his 
home,  acting  as  hostess  for  the  occasion,  whether  or  not  she  has  remarried. 
In  this  case,  as  it  is  his  home  and  not  hers,  he  precedes  his  former  wife  on 
the  line. 

If  the  mother,  divorced,  gives  both  wedding  and  reception  the  father 
usually  gives  the  bride  away,  calling  for  her  at  her  mother's  house  in  the 
bridal  car.  If  relations  are  very  strained  some  other  male  relative  may  give 
the  bride  away,  or  her  mother  might  if  her  father  is  not  to  attend  the 
wedding.  Whether  or  not  he  is  remarried,  he  sits  in  the  second  or  third 
pew  on  the  left  side  of  the  church  and,  if  remarried,  may  be  accompanied 
by  his  new  wife.  She,  in  turn,  may  go  to  the  reception  if  relations  are 
friendly,  but  neither  she  nor  the  bride's  father  receives. 

If  the  bride's  mother  has  remarried,  her  husband  sits  with  her  in  the  first 
pew  on  the  left  and  the  bride's  father  sits  behind  them  with  or  without  his 
wife  in  the  second  or  third  pew.  If  the  remarried  mother  gives  the  reception 
her  husband  stands  with  her  on  the  line  and  the  bride's  father,  if  present, 
attends  only  as  an  important  guest. 

It  is  far  better  to  err  on  the  side  of  too-friendly  relations  between  divorced 
people  on  their  child's  wedding  day  than  to  have  them  remind  all  present 
by  their  stiff  attitudes  of  their  own  failure  in  marriage.  It  must  be  the 
bride's  great  day,  and  even  if  her  parents  have  been  long  divorced  and  long 
remarried  they  are  to  her  forever  a  unit— the  unit  that  produced  her.  She 

85 


needs  to  feel,  if  possible,  that  on  this  day  they  are  brought  together  if  only 
briefly  by  this  great  common  interest,  the  wedding  of  their  child,  and  confi- 
dent that  the  readjustment  they  have  all  had  to  make  has  been  the  kind  that 
will  provide  future  serenity  in  her  own  marriage. 

CONDUCT    OF    THE    WEDDING    GUESTS 

As  we  have  seen,  formal  weddings  are  complicated  affairs  and  the  person 
receiving  an  invitation  to  the  reception  must  reply  immediately,  although 
one  to  the  wedding  alone,  of  course,  requires  no  reply.  It  is  important  for 
the  bride's  family  to  know  as  soon  as  possible  how  many  guests  are  to  attend 
the  reception,  so  the  caterer  may  receive  the  necessary  instructions. 

The  guest  dresses  according  to  the  time  of  day  and  the  formality  of  the 
wedding.  (See  "What  Others  Wear.")  Unless  he  or  she  is  actually  a  member 
of  the  wedding  party,  flowers  are  not  worn. 

It  is  quite  incorrect  for  men  to  wear  any  form  of  evening  dress— tuxedos 
or  tails— during  the  daylight  hours,  even  for  a  wedding.  Evening  dress  is 
never  worn  before  six  o'clock,  although  sometimes  it  is  necessary  for  a  man 
to  be  seen  in  formal  dress  somewhat  before  this  hour  but  only  if  he's  in 
transit. 

At  a  church  wedding  the  guest  aids  the  work  of  the  ushers  by  arriving 
fifteen  to  twenty  minutes  before  the  ceremony  or,  at  a  large  wedding,  even 
earlier  if  pew  cards  are  not  issued.  It  is  disappointing  to  arrive  so  late  that 
all  seats  permitting  a  full  view  of  the  altar  are  taken. 

Each  guest,  man  or  woman,  is  met  in  the  church  vestibule  by  an  usher 
who  seats  each  in  turn  or  in  groups  where  all  are  to  sit  together  ( see  "Duties 
of  Ushers").  As  each  guest  joins  an  usher  he  says,  "Friend  of  the  bride"  or 
"Friend  of  the  groom,"  as  the  case  may  be,  so  that  he  may  be  seated  on 
the  left  or  the  right  side  of  the  church.  If  he  has  a  reserved  seat,  he  presents 
the  card  that  has  been  sent  to  him  to  the  usher,  or  tells  him  his  name  if  he 
is  not  recognized.  At  a  formal  wedding  with  ushers  on  duty  no  invited 
guest  seats  himself. 

A  guest  invited  to  attend  the  reception  makes  his  own  arrangements  to 
get  there,  either  in  his  own  car  or  by  taxi,  or  he  asks  friends  he  may  en- 
counter at  the  wedding  to  let  him  ride  with  them.  The  bride's  family  is  not 
responsible  for  guests'  transportation  to  or  from  the  reception,  although 
ushers  do  try  to  find  transportation  at  least  for  honored  guests  who  may  not 
have  their  own. 

Before  the  ceremony  begins  guests  are  seated  in  the  pews  to  which  they 
have  been  escorted  and  may  talk  briefly  in  low  tones  suitable  to  church. 
They  should  not  move  about  among  their  friends,  wave,  or  turn  around  to 
talk  to  friends  in  rear  pews.  After  the  bride's  mother  is  escorted  to  the  front 
left  pew  no  other  guests  are  seated  and  the  church  doors  are  closed.  As  the 
wedding  march  begins,  all  guests  rise  and,  turning  slightly  toward  the 
bride's  aisle,  await  her  appearance  on  her  father's  arm.  In  most  services  all 
remain  standing  throughout,  bowing  their  heads  if  bride  and  groom  kneel 

86 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 

or  kneeling  with  them  if  that  is  customary.  A  stranger  to  the  ritual  goes  as 
far  in  following  it  as  his  own  religious  customs  permit.  If  it  is  not  the 
custom  of  his  own  church  to  kneel,  he  can  at  least  bow  his  head  over  the 
back  of  the  pew  in  front  of  him  and  stand  and  sit  when  others  do  the  same. 
A  Protestant  at  a  Catholic  wedding  is  not  expected  to  make  the  Sign  of  the 
Cross,  but  a  Christian  man  at  an  Orthodox  or  Conservative  Jewish  wedding 
would  be  considered  irreverent  if  he  did  not  wear  a  hat.  For  the  same 
reason  Protestant  women  whose  own  churches  do  not  require  head  covering 
in  church  do  cover  their  heads,  if  only  with  a  pocket  handkerchief  or  ker- 
chief, when  entering  a  Catholic  or  Episcopal  church  or  an  Orthodox  syna- 
gogue, so  as  not  to  offend. 

After  the  ribbons  are  in  place  no  one  may  leave  his  pew,  even  if  there 
is  possible  egress  to  a  side  aisle.  Ushers  escort  the  bride's  mother  and 
honored  guests  immediately  following  the  recessional,  before  the  ribbons  are 
removed.  Other  guests  leave  unhurriedly  by  themselves  only  after  the  ribbons 
are  removed,  either  by  the  center  or  side  aisles. 

In  proceeding  to  the  reception  guests  give  time  enough  for  the  bride  and 
her  party  to  assemble  for  the  wedding  pictures  and  have  a  few  minutes 
to  collect  themselves  before  the  tiring  ordeal  of  the  receiving  line  begins. 
As  guests  arrive  they  join  the  waiting  line,  staying  together  in  family  groups, 
if  possible,  and  never  seeking  refreshments  until  they  have  been  officially 
received,  in  order,  first  by  the  bride's  mother. 

At  large  weddings  there  are  always  many  people  from  out  of  town  who 
do  not  know  each  other.  And,  as  the  parents  of  the  couple  are  busy  on  the 
receiving  line  and  introductions  cannot  be  made  in  a  general  way  by  mem- 
bers of  the  family  in  so  large  a  group,  it  is  up  to  strangers  to  make  them- 
selves known  to  those  in  whose  immediate  neighborhood  they  find  themselves 
standing  or  sitting.  The  host's  roof  is  sufficient  introduction. 

It  is  always  more  tactful  for  a  young  girl  to  approach  either  an  older 
woman  or  a  girl  her  own  age  than  for  her  to  speak  first  to  a  young  man. 
And  a  young  man  shows  his  breeding  by  speaking  first  to  an  older  man  or 
woman,  in  the  hope  that  he  will  be  taken  in  hand  and  introduced  to 
attractive  girls.  All  that  is  necessary  is  for  an  outsider  in  the  group  to  join 
others  in  a  casual  manner  and,  when  conversation  permits,  introduces  him- 
self or  herself  with  a  brief,  identifying  phrase.  "How  do  you  do?  I  am  Nancy 
Penny  (not  "Miss  Nancy  Penny")  from  Cleveland.  Helen  (the  bride)  and  I 
went  to  school  together."  Or,  "May  I  introduce  myself?  I  am  Joe  Choate 
from  Don's  (the  groom's)  office.  I'm  afraid  I  don't  know  a  soul  here."  Any 
agreeable  guest  approached  in  this  way  will  stay  and  talk  and  perform 
introductions  or,  if  he's  in  the  same  boat,  at  least  be  grateful  for  company. 

Guests  may  stay  until  after  the  bride  and  groom's  departure,  if  they 
wish,  but  if  they  do  stay  to  see  the  throwing  of  the  bride's  bouquet  no 
woman  guest— and  never  a  man— should  make  any  attempt  to  catch  it  if 
there  are  bridesmaids.  It  is  traditionally  thrown  to  the  unmarried  girls  in 
the  bride's  retinue. 

*7 


As  on  any  other  occasion  when  he  has  been  entertained,  the  wedding  guest 
seeks  out  the  host  or  hostess  before  his  departure.  He  need  not  write  a  "bread 
and  butter"  letter,  call,  or  send  flowers  to  the  hostess  after  the  event,  but  if 
he  is  a  close  friend  he  may  feel  that  so  festive  and  joyous  an  occasion  calls 
for  a  brief  little  note  of  appreciation  or  a  phone  call  to  the  bride's  mother— 
or  to  the  person  to  whom  he  is  indebted  for  his  invitation. 

CONGRATULATORY    TELEGRAM 

Friends  and  relatives  unable  to  attend  the  wedding  ceremony  and  extend 
their  congratulations  in  person  may  send  a  telegram  to  the  couple,  timed  to 
arrive  during  the  reception.  It  is  the  best  man's  function  to  read  such  tele- 
grams to  the  bridal  table. 

Congratulations  should  always  be  addressed  to  the  couple,  not  to  the  bride 
or  groom  alone.  A  telegram  may  read:  "Congratulations  and  a  long  and 
happy  life  together,  love,  Aunt  Lucy  and  Uncle  Joe,"  or  any  other  warm, 
personal  message.  Attempts  at  levity  are  usually  out  of  place  and,  reduced 
to  telegraphic  prose,  often  seem  tasteless  no  matter  how  well  meant.  The 
seriousness  of  the  occasion  should  be  carefully  respected. 

THE    EVENING    WEDDING 

As  I  have  said  before,  evening  weddings  take  place  mainly  in  the  South  and 
West.  They  may  be  formal  or  informal  and  may  take  place  in  church  or  at 
home.  The  preparations  and  procedures  follow  those  of  the  daytime  wedding. 
(For  dress,  see  Bride's  Dress,  Groom's  Clothes,  etc.) 


CHAPTER    FIVE 

THE  HOME  WEDDING 


Nicest  of  all  weddings,  if  space  permits,  is  the  home  wedding.  The  largest 
room,  usually  the  living  room,  is  selected,  cleared  for  the  ceremony,  and  an 
altar  improvised  before  a  fireplace  or  at  some  other  focal  point  in  the  room, 
preferably  at  the  greatest  distance  from  the  entrance  or  entrances.  Seats  are 
usually  not  provided. 

If  the  room  is  large  and  the  company  numerous,  "ribbons"  are  put  in 
place  just  before  the  entrance  of  the  bride's  mother  and  the  groom's  mother 
to  preserve  an  aisle.  At  large  weddings  a  small  section  for  the  parents  and 
immediate  relatives  is  roped  off  on  either  side  of  the  altar,  bride's  family  to 
the  left,  groom's  to  the  right. 

Where  there  is  a  staircase  the  bride  descends  it  at  the  first  strains  of  the 
wedding  march;  otherwise  she  and  the  bridal  party  congregate  outside  the 

88 


PART   ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

entrance  to  the  main  room  before  the  music  begins.  This  is  only,  of  course, 
if  the  guests  are  numerous  enough,  the  house  large  enough  to  permit  a 
formal  wedding  if  she  wants  it.  Otherwise  the  bride  wears  a  simple  dress 
(never  black)  or  suit  with  a  hat  at  noon,  an  afternoon  dress  with  a  hat,  or 
a  dressmaker  suit,  possibly  satin.  Her  attendants  dress  similarly. 

At  a  very  small  wedding  there  may  be  no  music  at  all  and  the  bride  may 
be  in  a  street  dress  or  suit  or  afternoon  dress.  She  need  not  make  the  usual 
dramatic  entrance  but  after  the  clergyman  has  taken  his  place  merely  step 
before  him  for  the  ceremony. 

A  collation  is  always  served  at  a  home  wedding.  It  may  be  in  the  same 
room  as  that  in  which  the  wedding  took  place  or  in  the  garden  or  on  a  porch. 
A  large  table  is  usually  moved  against  a  wall  and  set  with  the  wedding  cake 
as  a  central  theme. 

A  wedding,  of  course,  may  take  place  out  of  doors  if  the  climate  is  suffL 
ciently  dependable  or  if  alternative  arrangements  have  been  made.  Some- 
times the  witnesses  to  the  ceremony  are  limited  and  the  reception  is  large, 
and  often  in  summer,  out  of  doors. 

receiving  at  a  home  wedding  At  a  home  wedding  there  is  no  recessional 
unless  a  formal  receiving  line  is  to  form  elsewhere  in  the  house  or  in  the 
garden.  Where  there  are  many  guests  and  space  is  limited,  the  receiving  line, 
if  there  is  to  be  one,  is  best  located  in  a  small  room  such  as  a  hall  or  dining 
room  with  both  exit  and  entrance  to  facilitate  the  flow  of  traffic.  Guests 
should  be  able  to  pass  on  in  to  a  larger  area  where  they  may  congregate  and 
have  refreshments.  In  simple  home  weddings  it  is  usual  for  the  bride  and 
groom  merely  to  turn  around  at  the  altar,  after  the  groom  has  kissed  the 
bride,  and  receive  informally  with  the  bridal  attendants. 


CHAPTER    SIX 

THE  RECTORY  WEDDING 


Sometimes  a  couple  will  choose  to  be  married  in  the  rectory  of  their  church. 
The  simple  ceremony  takes  place  in  the  clergyman's  study  or  in  his  living 
room,  often  before  a  fireplace.  The  bride  makes  no  entrance  as  she  would  in 
a  formal  home  wedding,  and  she  wears  a  suit  or  a  street  dress  and  hat.  The 
groom  wears  a  dark  suit  or  in  the  country  in  summer  white  flannels  and  a 
blue  coat  or  a  light  tropical  suit— never  slacks  and  sports  jacket. 

A  few  guests  may  be  present,  but  usually  the  party  is  limited  to  witnesses 
and  parents.  Sometimes  members  of  the  clergyman's  household  act  as  wit- 
nesses, and  the  couple  has  no  attendants.  The  bride  does  not  have  flowers 
sent  for  the  decoration  of  the  rectory. 

89 


After  brief  preliminary  instructions,  the  bride  and  groom  stand  before 
the  clergyman,  the  bride  to  the  groom's  left.  Unless  the  bride's  father  or  a 
substitute  for  him  is  present  the  "giving  away"  part  of  the  ceremony,  where 
it  is  usually  used,  is  done  by  the  bride  herself.  Bride  and  groom  stand  hands 
at  sides  until  the  clergyman  asks  the  question,  then  she  places  her  hand  in 
that  of  the  groom  preliminary  to  their  being  joined  as  man  and  wife.  After- 
ward the  couple  receive  the  congratulations  of  the  minister,  then  kiss,  if 
they  wish.  Before  leaving  the  rectory  the  groom,  if  unattended,  remembers 
to  leave  an  envelope  for  the  minister  containing  an  appropriate  fee— appro- 
priate, that  is,  to  the  circumstances  of  the  couple. 

Sometimes  a  couple  wishing  the  privacy  of  a  small  rectory  wedding  do 
have  a  reception  at  a  hotel  or  at  the  bride's  home.  In  either  case,  it  is  never 
formal,  and  the  bride  and  groom  stand  side  by  side  and  receive  their  guests. 
Later  they  do  not  separate  as  they  probably  would  at  a  party  but  remain 
together  to  function  as  host  and  hostess  on  this  great  day. 


CHAPTER    SEVEN 

THE  CLERGYMAN'S  WEDDING 


The  wedding  of  a  clergyman  presents  certain  problems  not  covered  in  dis- 
cussions of  usual  weddings.  If  he  has  his  own  church,  synagogue,  or  temple 
the  bride  may  wonder  if  his  entire  congregation  must  be  invited  to  the 
wedding  and,  if  so,  how  the  invitation  is  tendered.  And  where  does  the 
marriage  take  place,  in  his  own  place  of  worship  or  hers?  Then  there  is  the 
question  of  the  clergyman's  son's  wedding  and  that  of  his  daughter.  Where 
and  when  do  such  weddings  take  place  and  who  officiates?  Who  gives  a 
clergyman's  daughter  away  if  her  father  performs  the  ceremony?  What,  too, 
does  a  clergyman  wear  to  his  own  wedding?  These  questions  have  come  up 
sufficiently  often  in  my  correspondence  for  me  to  cover  them  briefly  here. 

First,  a  clergyman,  like  any  other  groom,  is  married  in  the  church,  temple, 
or  synagogue  of  his  bride  by  her  own  clergyman.  If  her  place  of  worship 
happens  to  be  his  own,  then  they  may  be  married  there  by  some  other 
clergyman  of  his  faith,  his  superior,  a  friend,  or  a  clergyman  from  a  neigh- 
boring parish  or  congregation.  Sometimes,  if  he  has  an  assistant,  he  is  mar- 
ried by  him,  but  someone  of  his  own  rank  or  higher  usually  would  perform 
the  ceremony. 

A  clergyman  usually  chooses  the  morning  hours  up  until  noon  for  his  own 
wedding,  avoiding  (as  a  matter  of  convenience  among  Protestants)  his  par- 
ticular Sabbath.  He  wears  his  clericals,  if  they  are  customary  in  his  faith,  not 
his  vestments.  If  the  hour  chosen  should  happen  to  be  late  afternoon,  four- 
thirty,  he  may  wear  morning  dress  or,  depending  on  the  season,  other  suit- 

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PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 

able  clothing  (see  "The  Groom's  Clothes"),  with  or  without  the  clerical 
collar  and  rabat  depending  on  his  denominational  custom. 

A  clergyman-father  performing  the  marriage  for  his  daughter  cannot  give 
her  away,  where  this  procedure  is  called  for  in  the  ceremony.  Instead,  she  is 
escorted  at  a  formal  wedding  by  an  older  brother,  a  brother-in-law,  a  god- 
father, an  uncle,  or  a  family  friend.  After  delivering  her  to  the  groom  her 
escort  may  step  back  and  into  the  first  pew  on  the  bride's  side  or  remain  to 
give  her  away.  When  the  clergyman  asks  the  question  concerning  the  giving 
in  marriage  the  bride's  mother  steps  forward  and  places  the  hand  of  the 
bride  in  that  of  the  clergyman  or  in  that  of  the  groom,  depending  on  the 
denominational  custom. 

In  a  very  small  community  and  in  a  church,  synagogue,  or  temple  that  is 
unusually  well-attended,  a  clergyman  might  announce  his  forthcoming  mar- 
riage from  the  pulpit  and  invite  the  congregation  to  attend  if  the  marriage 
is  to  take  place  in  his  own  house  of  worship.  But  so  informal  a  procedure, 
though  it  seems  to  be  followed  occasionally,  risks  the  exclusion  of  some 
members  who  might  not  have  attended  services  on  the  day  the  announce- 
ment was  made.  More  correct  is  the  sending  of  individual  invitations  of 
some  kind  (see  "Wedding  Invitations")  to  the  entire  mailing  list.  The 
reception,  of  course,  could  be  and  is  really  expected  to  be  limited  to  close 
friends,  associates,  and  relatives  of  bride  and  groom.  In  a  small  community 
where  a  bride,  for  extenuating  reasons  (no  relatives  of  her  own,  for  example), 
might  come  from  a  distance  to  be  married  in  her  husband's  own  church, 
synagogue,  or  temple,  the  people  of  the  congregation  might  give  the  recep- 
tion, especially  if  the  couple's  joint  circumstances  were  modest. 

A  clergyman  who  has  not  been  assigned  his  church,  temple,  or  synagogue 
may  be  married  anywhere  by  a  religious  ceremony,  even  in  a  quiet  one  in 
his  bride's  home  or  at  a  friend's  home. 

A  clergyman  whose  son  is  marrying  is  usually  given  the  honor  of  con- 
ducting the  ceremony  in  the  bride's  place  of  worship  with  the  bride's  clergy- 
man assisting.  If  the  bride's  home  is  at  considerable  distance  from  his  own 
the  father's  congregation  does  not  usually  expect  to  be  invited  en  masse, 
though  various  active  members  of  the  congregation  might  well  be  included 
in  the  invitation  list. 


CHAPTER    EIGHT 

ELOPEMENTS  AND  CIVIL  CEREMONIES 


THE    ELOPEMENT 

A  friend  of  mine  with  three  lovely  daughters  gave  the  first  a  traditional  big 
wedding  with  no  expense  spared— including  that  of  a  dance  band  for  the 

91 


reception  for  more  than  three  hundred.  His  other  daughters,  of  course,  were 
attendants,  and  he  told  them  that  they'd  better  make  the  most  of  their  day 
of  glory  as  one  big  wedding  was  all  he  could  stand— and  we  can  sympathize 
with  him,  "My  other  daughters  can  expect  just  a  good  strong  ladder  on  a 
nice  moonlight  night,"  he  warned. 

There  are  elopements  and  elopements,  of  course.  The  kind  we  don't  like  to 
see  is  the  one  where  parents  have  not  become  reconciled  to  the  marriage  and 
the  couple  runs  off  in  defiance  of  parental  displeasure.  The  young  people 
should  both  work  very  hard,  if  necessary,  to  win  all  four  parents  over  to  the 
match.  A  runaway  marriage  where  there  has  been  bitter  objection  can 
start  a  couple  off  very  defensively. 

Then  there  is  the  elopement  that  is  frequently  a  great  relief  to  all  con- 
cerned, when,  because  of  social  position,  an  elaborate  wedding  is  expected. 
Sometimes  a  girl— or  her  groom— cannot  bear  the  idea  of  all  the  complexities 
and  pressures  of  a  big  wedding,  and,  once  they  have  announced  their  inten- 
tions and  received  the  blessings  of  their  friends  and  parents,  they  go  off  and 
are  married— in  a  religious  ceremony,  I  hope,  for  civil  ones  can  be  very 
dreary— with  two  friends  as  witnesses,  perhaps,  or  even  two  strangers  pro- 
vided by  the  officiating  person.  They  then  phone  or  wire  their  families  and 
friends  to  whom  only  the  day  of  the  elopement,  not  the  fact  of  it,  will  come 
as  a  surprise. 

The  bride  and  groom  with  a  wide,  expectant  circle  of  friends  do  better  to 
elope  in  this  way  than  to  try  to  have  a  small  wedding  from  which  they 
would  find  it  difficult  to  exclude  so  many  people  close  to  them— friends  whom 
they  might  greatly  prefer  to  the  relatives  who  must  be  asked,  for  example. 

GIFTS    FOR    ELOPERS? 

Sometimes  formal  announcements  of  the  wedding  are  omitted  after  elope- 
ments, but  more  usually  they  are  sent,  with  the  place  of  the  marriage  always 
stated  and  the  date  and  year.  If  a  civil  ceremony  has  been  performed,  only 
the  name  of  the  city  or  town  appears.  If  the  couple  was  married  in  church, 
it  is  optional  whether  the  church  is  mentioned. 

Strictly  speaking,  any  couple  for  whom  wedding  invitations  were  not 
issued  should  not  expect  wedding  gifts,  even  if  they  send  formal  announce- 
ments of  the  marriage.  But  of  course  close  friends  and  relatives  will  send 
gifts,  as  will  many  friends  who  receive  the  announcements.  If  an  elopement 
is  a  second— or  third— marriage  for  bride  or  groom,  no  gifts  at  all  should  be 
expected,  although  again  there  will  be  friends— usually  of  the  less  married 
or  not  previously  married  partner— who  may  wish  to  send  gifts.  But  once 
you  have  given  a  wedding  gift,  even  to  your  dearest  friend,  you  cannot  be 
expected  to  give  one  for  a  second  marriage,  too. 

CIVIL    MARRIAGE 

For  a  civil  marriage  in  a  registrar's  office  or  in  a  judge's  chambers  the  groom 
wears  a  dark  business  suit  and  the  bride  wears  a  simple  street  length  suit  or 

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PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 

dress,  never  a  wedding  gown.  She  wears  a  corsage,  instead  of  carrying  a 
bouquet,  and  before  the  brief  ceremony  begins  she  removes  her  gloves  and 
places  them  with  her  handbag.  Where  there  is  no  best  man  and  witnesses 
are  garnered  from  the  office  staff,  the  groom  quietly  hands  the  officiating 
person  a  sealed  envelope  containing  the  fee  before  the  ceremony— anywhere 
from  ten  to  twenty-five  dollars,  depending  on  the  circumstances.  Where  a 
high-ranking  official— a  mayor,  governor,  or  Supreme  Court  judge— has  per- 
formed the  rite  as  a  special  favor  to  the  families  involved,  no  fee  is  offered 
but  a  gift  is  sent  after  the  ceremony— again  depending  on  the  circumstances. 
Anything  from  a  case  of  Scotch  to  a  bottle  or  so  of  fine  champagne  or  per- 
haps a  fine  pipe  or  a  humidor  of  good  cigars  might  be  appropriate. 


CHAPTER    NINE 


THE  TROUSSEAU  AND  BRIDAL  SHOWERS 


Many  of  us  wish  that  fashion  did  not  change  so  often,  but  the  fact  that  it 
does  has  made  the  matter  of  her  trousseau  much  easier  for  the  modern 
bride.  Her  grandmother  was  expected  to  bring  with  her  enough  clothes  to 
last  at  least  a  year,  along  with  all  the  linen,  bedding,  pots  and  pans— enough 
to  set  up  housekeeping  from  scratch.  Today's  bride,  even  when  her  personal 
allowance  permits  a  lavish  wardrobe,  seldom  buys  more  than  enough  clothes 
for  the  first  few  months  of  her  married  fife— with  the  exception,  of  course,  of 
her  lingerie.  Fashions  change  too  fast.  In  fact,  they  change  even  in  the 
matter  of  household  linens,  and  Americans  move  so  often,  especially  in  cities. 
That's  why  few  of  us  have  hope  chests  kept  from  our  early  teens  any  more. 
Instead  of  collecting  a  lifetime's  supply  of  embroidered  linens,  we  buy  what 
we  need  and  what  we  have  room  to  store,  replacing  as  needed  with  linens 
that  suit  the  taste  of  the  moment. 

In  fact,  the  very  word  "linens"  is  now  a  misnomer.  Linen  sheets  which 
used  to  be  de  rigueur  for  the  bride's  household  trousseau  are  seldom  seen 
now,  and  a  good  thing,  too,  as  they  needed  daily  changing  to  look  fresh  and 
inviting,  whereas  good  quality  percale  keeps  its  finish  and  stands  up  better 
in  commercial  laundering. 

MUST    EVERYTHING    BE    WHITE? 

It  is  a  sound  idea  to  choose  white  sheets  for  the  trousseau  linen.  Colored 
sheets  are  dramatic  but  they  must  be  planned  for  each  room  and  can't  be 
used  interchangeably  as  can  basic  white  sheets.  Unless  she  knows  exactly 

93 


what  her  decorative  scheme  is  going  to  be,  the  bride  should  introduce 
colored  sheets  and  pillow  cases,  if  she  wants  them,  only  after  she  is  settled 
in  her  new  home.  She  may  find  her  new  husband  has  decided  opinions  con- 
cerning sleeping  between  pink  or  yellow  sheets,  with  or  without  rosebud 
borders.  He  may  be  strictly  a  white-sheet  man. 

Good  white  percale  or  fine  cotton  top  sheets  may,  of  course,  be  attractively 
monogrammed  in  color  with  one  or  more  initials.  There  should  be  some 
reason  for  the  color— it  should  match  the  blankets  or  pick  up  a  decorative 
note  in  the  room.  But  in  my  opinion  the  most  luxurious  monogram  of  all  is 
done  in  white,  on  white,  doubly  impressive  by  its  subtlety. 

While  white  sheets  are  always  basic,  the  modern  tendency  is  to  treat  bath- 
room linen  as  part  of  the  decorating  scheme.  All-white  bath  linen,  therefore, 
seems  a  little  dull,  although  white  linen  guest  towels  can  never  be  in  too 
great  abundance  even  when  bath  towels,  face  towels,  and  washcloths  in 
terry  may  combine  two  or  more  colors  to  suit  the  particular  bathroom. 

The  thing  to  remember  when  deciding  on  colored  bath  linen  is,  again, 
that  the  towels,  like  colored  sheets,  cannot  be  used  interchangeably.  They 
must  all  match  when  hung  together  in  a  bathroom.  Fingertip  guest  towels 
are  best  in  white  or  may  match  the  bath  towels  or  their  initialing.  Gray  bath 
towels  with  maroon  monograms  might  be  attractively  accompanied  by 
maroon  fingertip  towels  with  matching  monogram  in  gray.  But  an  ill- 
assorted  collection  of  towels,  no  matter  how  fresh,  in  any  bathroom  makes 
for  a  "busy"  decorative  scheme. 


WHAT    DOES    THE    BRIDE    PROVDDE? 

Today's  bride  still  comes  to  her  husband  with  a  dowry,  too— the  clothes  for 
her  honeymoon,  as  many  nice  underthings  as  she  can  afford  or  as  are  given 
her  by  her  family  and  friends,  and  as  much  in  the  way  of  household  linens 
and  kitchen  equipment  as  she  can  manage.  If  she  has  a  bank  account,  too, 
so  much  the  better.  But  many  a  bride,  married  without  fanfare  or  much 
advance  preparation,  comes  to  her  husband  with  little  more  than  the  clothes 
on  her  back.  And  the  couple  acquires  what  is  needed  for  housekeeping  as 
the  home  is  furnished,  with  the  husband  footing  all  the  bills,  if  necessary. 

But  the  bride  who  can  afford  it  still  brings  with  her  a  lavish  dowry  of 
household  linens— enough  to  last  through  their  first  few  years  of  marriage, 
at  least,  and  geared  of  course  to  the  way  she  and  her  husband  will  be  living. 
Here  is  a  basic  list  for  a  household  trousseau,  expansible  or  contractible,  of 
course,  according  to  the  size  of  home  the  couple  will  have  and  the  scale  on 
which  they  will  be  living— and,  too,  depending  on  the  bride's  resources. 


BASIC    LIST 

linens     4  sheets  for  each  bed  (two  top  and  two  bottom,  if  they  are  to  be  hem- 
stitched or  monogrammed) 

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PAKT    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 

2  pairs  of  blankets  for  each  bed 

1  quilt  (preferably  eiderdown)  for  each  bed 

4  pillowcases  for  each  bed 

1  bedspread  for  each  bed 

6  bath  towels  for  each  bathroom 

6  matching  face  towels  for  each  bathroom 

6  matching  face  cloths  for  each  bathroom 

1  shower  curtain  for  each  bathroom  (nylon  or  plastic  are  best) 

6  guest  towels  for  each  bathroom 

1  doz.  kitchen  towels 

1  doz.  glass  towels 

1  bathmat  to  match  each  set  of  bathroom  towels 

1  dinner-size  damask  or  linen  tablecloth  in  white  or  pale  colors,  to  overlap 
table  not  less  than  12",  not  more  than  18",  with  1  doz.  matching  napkins, 
dinner-size 

3  luncheon  sets  for  daily  use  with  matching  napkins 

2  tray  cloths 

2  tray  sets  with  2  napkins  each  (one  napkin  for  the  tray,  one  for  the  toast) 

1  doz.  cocktail  napkins 

2  or  more  sets  of  practical  table  mats  in  straw,  cotton,  woven  matting  or 
any  of  the  modern,  tasteful  materials  used  for  the  purpose  with  matching 
or  contrasting  napkins  (white  luncheon  napkins,  simply  hemmed,  go  with 
everything) 

1  quilted  mattress  cover  for  each  bed 
1  blanket  cover  for  each  bed 


kitchen  equipment     (Often  provided  by  showers) 

4  paring  knives  flour  sifter 

1  kitchen  carving  knife  and  fork  rolling  pin 

1  canister  set  ladle 

set  of  mixing  bowls  funnel 

measuring  spoons  meat  grinder 

measuring  glasses  cooking  spoons 

kitchen  scales  jelly  molds 

1  bed  tray  vegetable  parer 

1  serving  tray  kitchen  teapot 

4  pot  holders  dish  drainer 

6  kitchen  aprons  (if  the  bride  will  folding  steps 

officiate)  1  doz.  dish  cloths 

vegetable  bin  (if  not  2  sets  covered  icebox  dishes 

bread  box         \  built  in  bread  knife 

1  dishmop  apple  corer 

broom  and  dustpan  colander 

1  dry  mop  casserole 

95 


1  wet  mop 

carpet  sweeper  (vacuum  can  be  a 
wedding  present  or  bought 
after  marriage) 

step-on  garbage  can 

kitchen  stool 

sieve 

frying  pans   (large  and  small) 

griddle 

covered  kettle 

teakettle 

custard  cups 

electric  mixer 

waffle  iron 


muffin  tins 

cake  tins 

egg  beater 

electric  blender 

toaster 

cookie  sheet 

large  and  small  pitchers 

bread  board 

can  and  bottle  openers 

chopping  bowls  (large  and  small) 

spice  sets 

grater 

coffee  maker 

paper  towel  holder  with  towels 


glassware  and  china  (These  are  usually  gifts  and  the  bride  should  state  her 
needs,  when  asked.  Breakage  is  very  heavy  and  good  glass  expensive  to 
replace. ) 


1  dozen  or  more  water  glasses 

2  dozen  ice-tea  glasses 
1  dozen  sherry  glasses 
1  dozen  cordial  glasses 

1  dozen  or  more  wine  glasses 

1  dozen  champagne  glasses,  solid 
stems 

2  dozen  "old-fashioned"  glasses 


2  dozen  cocktail  glasses 
2  dozen  highball  glasses 
1  dozen  sherbet  glasses 
1  dozen  punch  glasses 
6  "shot"  glasses 
12  juice  glasses 

8  fingerbowls,  matching  plates  (op- 
tional) 


CHINA   FOR   A   SIMPLE   HOUSEHOLD 

1  basic  set  utility  china  (optional)— may  be  pottery  or  some  one  of  the 
"unbreakable"  wares 

1  set  fine  china  (optional) 

If  no  matching  sets  are  to  be  used: 

8  breakfast  plates 

12  breakfast  coffee  cups  (allowing  for  breakage)  not  necessarily  matching, 
but  if  plates  are  patterned,  cups  should  be  solid  color,  in  blending  tone 
(for  coffee  lovers  there  are  jumbo  cups) 

8  breakfast  butter  plates 

8  egg  cups  or  small  dishes  for  eggs  (milk  glass  reproductions  of  setting 
hens  are  amusing  for  the  purpose) 

8  cereal  dishes 

1  covered  dish  for  toast  (may  be  in  any  color  that  looks  well  with  break- 
fast plates,  or  may  be  silver  or  silver  plate) 

1  small  platter  for  bacon,  pancakes,  etc.  to  match  or  blend 

1  small  creamer 


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PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

1  sugar  bowl 

1  large  creamer  for  cereal 

12  dinner  plates  (if  matching  set  is  not  used) 

12  butter  plates  in  plain  china,  such  as  white  or  bordered  Wedgwood, 

or  in  ruby,  amber,  green,  amethyst  or  clear  glass  to  blend,  if  matching 

set  is  not  used 
3  vegetable  dishes,  may  be  silver  or  silver  plate  or  match  set 
1  small  platter,  may  be  silver 

1  large  well  and  tree  platter,  silver  or  silver  plate 
1  sauce  boat  with  saucer,  or  bowl  for  gravy,  may  be  silver,  match  set,  or 

in  blending  china. 
1  ladle  for  gravy,  may  be  china,  silver,  or  glass 
1  bread  plate,  or  tray,  may  be  silver,  china,  or  wood.  Basket  should  be 

wicker.   Bread  board  is  pleasant  for  informal  meals.    (Queen  Victoria 

used  one  on  her  table  as  an  example  of  thrift— bread  was  cut  only  as 

needed) 
Condiment  dishes,  may  be  china,  fine  china,  pottery,  silver  or  glass;  antique 

or  modern.  Cut  glass  is  back  in  favor 

1  water  pitcher,  may  be  silver,  modern  or  antique  glass,  antique  china  oi 
pottery,  such  as  Majolica  or  any  of  the  glazed  wares  for  informal  use 

2  sets  of  salts  and  peppers,  may  be  silver  but  may  also  be  china  or  glass, 
antique  or  modern.  Gourmets  like  wooden  pepper  and  salt  grinders 

8  cream  soups  (optional) 

8  soup  cups  (optional) 

8  individual  covered  casseroles  (very  useful  and  may  be  used,  informally, 

for  soups) 
8  thin  teacups  for  afternoon  tea 
8  tea  plates,  need  not  match  and  can  be  in  any  fine,  blending  china  or 

in  glass 
8  demitasses  preferably  in  fine  china  but  may  be  glass  or,  for  a  completely 

informal  household,  pottery 
1  teapot 

1  coffee  pot  or  coffee  maker 
1  round  serving  platter  for  molded  desserts,  cakes,  and  pies,  may  be  china, 

glass,  sometimes  silver 
8  dessert  plates,  may  match  set  or  be  in  any  fine  china,  glass,  or,  informally. 

pottery 
8  "English"  dessert  dishes,  deep  enough  for  baked  apples,  sauced  puddings, 

etc.,  though  these  are  often  successfully  served  on  a  flat  plate,  as  is  ice 

cream 
1  serving  bowl  for  desserts,  fruits,  occasionally  for  salads 
1  salad  bowl  with  serving  fork  and  spoon— the  choicest,  seasoned  wood  is 

best 
6  individual  table  ash  trays.  May  be  silver,  pewter,   antique  or  moderi 

china,  glass,  pottery  (for  informal  tables  along  with  shells) 

97 


SILVER 


The  bride's  family  usually  gives  her  her  flat  silver,  and  the  groom's  family 
gives  the  silver  tea  service  as  a  wedding  gift. 

If  having  a  silver  tea  service  will  create  a  storage  problem  in  small 
quarters  where  it  can't  be  on  display,  the  groom's  family  might  better  give 
a  china  service  or,  perhaps,  broadloom  if  that  is  a  paramount  need  of  a 
young  couple  on  a  slender  budget.  It  is  nicer,  of  course,  for  both  families 
to  give  enduring  things  such  as  silver  or  fine  china,  but  many  young  couples 
would  prefer  checks  to  use  only  in  part  to  start  purchases  of  silver  or  fine 
china  on  a  budget  basis,  adding  to  their  stock  as  their  living  quarters  and 
their  social  activities  grow. 

Whether  or  not  she  is  to  receive  her  flat  silver  all  at  once  or  purchase  it 
a  setting  at  a  time,  the  bride  should  choose  her  pattern  and  monogram  as 
soon  as  her  invitations  are  out,  so  friends  who  wish  to  give  her  silver  may 
match  their  gifts.  She  may  register  her  silver  pattern  and  that  of  her  china 
and  glass  at  shops  from  which  it  will  probably  come.  This  will  be  of  much 
help  to  her  friends.  Silver  serving  dishes  and  platters  don't  necessarily 
match  the  flat  silver  but  should  be  in  a  harmonizing  style.  Loveliest  are  the 
old  Sheffield  platters  and  serving  dishes,  plated  of  course  on  copper,  but 
there  are  many  modern  pieces  in  sterling  or,  more  usual,  plate,  in  a  variety 
of  classic  patterns  that  complement  flatware. 

If  it  is  out  of  the  question  for  a  bride  to  have  even  a  starter  set  of  sterling, 
a  fine  quality  of  plate  in  a  simple  pattern  will  do.  But,  given  a  choice 
between  a  complete  set  of  even  the  best  plate  and  a  four-place  setting  of 
sterling,  the  wise  bride  will  chose  the  sterling,  adding  to  it  on  anniversaries 
and  other  gift-giving  times.  Sterling  is  a  permanent  investment  requiring 
no  upkeep  or  replacement.  It  always  has  a  company  complexion  and  will 
be  just  as  acceptable  and  beautiful  twenty  or  thirty  years  after  the  wedding. 

Styles  in  silver  are  fairly  stable.  Heavy  embossed  or  repousse  silver, 
which  is  hard  to  clean,  is  better  avoided  for  the  simpler,  more  modern, 
patterns.  But  if  you  have  inherited  heavy,  heavily-decorated  silver,  it  is 
heartening  to  know  that  you  can  still  add  to  your  set,  as  the  great  silver- 
smiths still  produce  for  these  familiar  open-stock  patterns.  And  often  you 
can  pick  up  extra  forks,  spoons,  and  knives  at  auctions  or  old  silver  shops. 
In  fact,  a  friend  of  mine,  with  no  family  to  give  her  silver  and  a  slim  budget 
on  which  to  start,  deliberately  chose  one  of  the  lovely,  decorative  old  pat- 
terns, buying  it  secondhand,  and  from  time  to  time  picks  up  six  spoons  or 
a  dozen  salad  forks  in  antique  shops  and  elsewhere  at  half  the  price  they 
would  be  new  from  the  silversmiths  that  have  been  making  them  for  a 
century.  And,  as  with  all  fine  sterling,  their  beauty  increases  with  use  and 
the  years. 

A  dozen  of  everything  in  all-sterling  flatware  is  ideal,  but  a  young  bride 
can  do  very  well  with  four-  or  six-place  settings  consisting  of  dinner  knife, 
dinner  fork,   salad  fork,   butter  knife,   teaspoon,   and   dessert  spoon.   The 

98 


PART   ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

teaspoon  will  be  used  for  consomme  and  cream  soup,  for  desserts  in  small 
containers,  for  grapefruit  or  fruit  cup,  as  well  as  for  tea  or  coffee.  The 
dessert  spoon  will  do  for  soups  in  soup  plates  and  for  desserts  served  on  flat 
plates.  She  will  need  two  tablespoons  and  two  extra  dinner  forks  to  serve 
with,  a  carving  set,  a  cake  knife  and,  of  course,  after-dinner  coffee  spoons. 

If  her  budget  is  limited  she  should  avoid  purchasing  flat  silver  that  is 
used  only  occasionally— fruit  knives  and  forks,  oyster  forks,  ice-tea  spoons, 
fish  forks  and  knives,  cheese  scoops,  and  the  like.  If  ancestral  silver  is  to 
be  used,  it  is  probable  that  some  of  these  things  will  be  missing  anyhow  and 
substitutes  will  have  to  be  found. 

A  word  of  warning  to  the  bride  who  rejects  offers  of  sterling  silver  when 
she  marries  in  favor  of  household  furnishings  she  feels  she  needs  more. 
If  you  don't  get  your  sterling  now,  you  may  never  get  it.  Once  a  family 
starts  growing,  its  constant  needs  too  often  absorb  funds  we  thought  would 
be  available  for  something  so  basic  as  sterling.  So  we  "make-do"  over  the 
years  with  ill-assorted  cutlery,  deceptively  inexpensive  because  it  wears 
out.  Then  come  the  important  little  dinners,  as  a  young  husband  gets  up 
in  the  world.  We  push  a  chair  over  a  hole  in  the  living  room  rug,  put  a 
cushion  under  the  pillow  of  the  sofa  with  a  sagging  spring,  and  distract 
the  guests'  attention  from  the  pictureless  walls  by  charming  flower  arrange- 
ments. But  there  is  nothing  that  can  be  done  about  the  shabby  flatware, 
which,  somehow,  is  still  with  us,  even  though  it  was  bought  just  to  tide  us 
through  the  first  year  in  the  tiny  apartment.  But  then,  of  course,  the  baby 
came. 

Never  again  in  her  lifetime  will  a  girl  find  her  family  and  friends  in  such 
a  giving  and  sentimental  mood  as  they  are  at  the  time  of  her  wedding.  At 
no  other  time  will  it  occur,  very  probably,  to  any  of  them  to  give  her  so 
much  as  a  silver  ash  tray.  But  at  the  propitious  moment  they  think  of  sterling 
silver  as  the  gift  for  the  bride  as  part  of  her  dowry— as  it  should  be.  So,  though 
she  starts  married  life  without  as  much  as  a  roasting  pan,  she  should  be 
able  to  lay  her  table— if  it's  only  a  bridge  table— with  the  kind  of  silver 
she'll  be  proud  to  see  on  whatever  table  the  future  has  in  store  for  her. 

Right  from  the  start,  it  is  the  wife's  task  to  set  the  tone  of  the  family's 
living.  And  one's  everyday  living  should  differ  very  little  from  that  pre- 
sented to  guests.  We  are  all  strongly  influenced  by  things  around  us.  What 
family  doesn't  deserve  the  sight  of  an  attractively  set  dinner  table,  even 
when  guests  aren't  present? 

should  gifts  of  silver  be  monocrammed?  The  bride  should  decide  how 
she  wishes  her  silver  marked,  then,  if  it  is  given  her  in  a  complete  set,  it 
arrives  already  monogrammed.  If  friends  give  her  flat  silver  from  a  chosen 
pattern,  it  is  better  to  send  it  unmonogrammed,  in  case  she  receives  many 
duplicates.  Hollow  ware  and  trays  should  be  sent  unmonogrammed  to  make 
them  exchangeable. 

how  should  silver  be  marked?  In  hope  chest  days  a  girl  began  collecting 
her  silver  piece  by  piece,  long  before  a  knight  even  appeared  over  the 

99 


horizon.  It  was  monogrammed  with  her  maiden  initials  or  the  single  letter 
of  her  last  name— or  with  her  family's  crest,  and  it  remained  her  personal 
property.  After  she  was  married,  or  if  her  husband's  family  presented  silver, 
that  silver  was  marked  with  her  married  initials  or  the  single  initial  of  the 
new  family— or  with  her  husband's  crest.  This  meant  differently  marked 
silver  used  on  the  same  table.  And  while  this  is  very  usual,  especially  when 
we  have  inherited  silver,  many  brides  prefer  unity  in  monogramming.  The 
bride  often  has  her  silver  marked  with  her  new  initials,  or  the  single  initial 
of  her  new  name  or  with  her  husband's  crest,  if  they  both  wish. 

Ornate  initialing  or  monogramming  has  given  way  to  simple  markings, 
usually  suggested  by  the  jeweler  as  being  in  harmony  with  the  design  of 
the  silver.  Sometimes  triangles  or  inverted  triangles  are  used,  with  the 
bride's  initials  or  her  first  initial  and  the  groom's  combined  with  his  last 
initial.  This  may  be  N  (his  last  name)  — 

J  P   (their  two  first  initials)— or 

J    F 
G   (her  maiden  initials  in  an  inverted 
triangle  or  with  her  first  two  initials  at  the  base). 


BRIDAL    SHOWERS 

who  gives  showers  Showers  are  popular  in  small  communities  and  a  practical 
and  attractive  way  to  help  a  bride  set  up  housekeeping— but  senseless  if  she 
comes  from  a  family  that  "has  everything."  For  the  basic  idea  of  a  shower  is 
practicality— the  bride's  closest  friends  give  her  utilitarian  things— kitchen 
supplies,  linens,  cooking  equipment,  staple  groceries,  stockings,  all  to  form 
a  little  nest  egg  of  needed  articles  with  which  to  start  off  her  new  life.  Show- 
ers are  usually  given  a  month  before  the  wedding.  It  is  nice  for  those  plan- 
ning showers  to  consult  others  who  may  want  to  do  the  same.  It  is  often 
a  financial  hardship  on  friends  who  are  invited  to  four  or  five  showers  for 
the  same  girl.  It  is  more  considerate  for  the  donors  to  join  forces  in  one  or 
two  showers  instead. 

Showers  may  be  given  by  any  close  friend,  usually  a  member  of  the 
bridal  party,  if  there  is  to  be  one.  Often  they  are  given  by  the  maid  or 
matron  of  honor,  if  she  isn't  a  sister  or  other  relative  and  if  she  lives  in 
the  community  and  has  the  facilities  for  entertaining.  They  are  not  given  by 
members  of  the  bride's  or  groom's  families.  Showers  are  supposed  to  be  a 
"surprise"  to  the  bride,  who  supposedly  has  no  idea  that  an  invitation  to 
tea  might  mean  that  she  is  to  be  showered  with  gifts.  She  is  usually  quietly 
consulted  as  to  her  needs. 

Shower  gifts  are  mostly  inexpensive,  as  the  bride's  intimate  friends 
usually  give  her  wedding  gifts  as  well— though  in  some  cases  it  is  perfectly 
possible  that  the  shower  gift  and  wedding  gift  will  be  combined,  as  in  the 
gift  of  an  electric  toaster  or  waffle  iron  at  a  kitchen  shower.  Guests  at  a 
shower  always  take  a  gift.  As  only  the  closest  friends  of  the  bride  are  asked, 


PART    ONE      THE   CEREMONIES   OF   LIFE 

it  seems  a  slight  if  someone  asked  neglects  to  send  a  little  gift,  if  she  can't 
take  it  in  person.  Of  course,  if  the  hostess  has  erred  in  asking  a  mere 
acquaintance  of  the  bride  to  attend  a  shower  for  her,  then  the  recipient  of 
the  invitation  is  under  no  obligation  either  to  attend  or  send  a  gift.  She  must, 
though,  in  all  courtesy,  reply  to  the  invitation  and  give  some  believable 
excuse  for  not  attending. 

A  groom  is  not  supposed  to  be  present  at  the  various  daytime  showers 
his  bride  may  be  given— and  there  may  be  several  of  them.  But  in  some 
communities  the  custom  of  giving  joint  evening  showers  is  growing.  And 
the  men— among  them  the  ushers  and  best  man— give  little  special  gifts  to 
the  groom,  usually  a  poor,  neglected  soul  in  the  wedding  setup.  He  might 
receive  handkerchiefs  or  ties  or  garden  tools  if  the  couple  is  to  have  a  house. 
It  would  be  poor  taste,  however,  to  give  a  joint  shower  in  which  the  bride 
received  anything  so  intimate  as  lingerie.  Here  is  a  list  of  possible  gifts  for 
joint  showers: 

BRIDE  GROOM 

stockings  ties 

linens  socks 

canned  goods  shirts 

cosmetics  handkerchiefs 

soap  barbecue  supplies 

kitchen  utensils  ash  trays   (who  ever  has  enough?) 

cook  books  tools 

closet  accessories  garden  equipment 

bathroom  equipment  books 

gloves  wines  and  liquor 

sewing  materials  liqueurs  (a  very  nice  idea) 
plastic  container  for  paper  cups  for      garden  seeds 
bathroom  or  kitchen 

It  is  necessary,  of  course,  for  shower-givers  and  guests  to  get  together 
on  themes,  colors,  and  the  bride's  needs.  If  she  is  to  have  a  kitchen  with 
red  accessories,  a  kitchen  shower  should  have  all  gifts  geared  to  the  theme- 
even  to  a  red  step-on  garbage  can  or  folding  stepladder.  If  either  bride  or 
groom  is  to  receive  things  to  wear,  exact  sizes  should  be  ascertained. 

The  kind  of  shower  should  be  chosen  that  permits  even  the  most  short- 
of-money  bridesmaid,  who  is  involved  with  her  own  expenses  of  the  wed- 
ding, to  make  her  own  gay  contribution,  if  only  a  dime-store  pot-holder. 

Gifts  should  all  be  assembled,  wrapped,  and  perhaps  screened  off,  before 
the  bride  arrives.  Any  later-arriving  guests  present  theirs  personally.  The 
bride  opens  all  gifts  at  the  designated  time— usually  before  the  refreshments, 
which  are  simple. 

The  verbal  thank-you's  of  the  bride  at  the  time  she  opens  her  gifts  are 
sufficient,  though  she  should  write  brief  notes  or  phone  to  anyone  who 
sent  a  gift  but  could  not  come  herself. 

101 


CHAPTER    TEN 

WEDDING  GIFTS 

must  one  send  a  gift?  People  who  receive  invitations  to  wedding  receptions 
send  a  gift  if  they  accept,  but  need  not,  necessarily,  send  one  if  they  regret. 
If  they  are  close  enough  to  either  family  to  be  invited  to  the  reception, 
though,  they  usually  will  want  to  send  a  gift  whether  or  not  they  will  be 
present. 

suitable  gifts  Never  feel  you  must  "match  your  gift  to  the  circumstances." 
If  you  are  the  bride's  former  teacher,  living  on  a  small  salary,  don't  feel  you 
must  give  a  gift  well  out  of  proportion  to  the  amount  you  should  spend, 
just  because  the  bride  will  have  a  big  wedding  and  perhaps  live  on  a  lavish 
scale.  Lovely  gifts  need  not  be  expensive.  A  friend  with  taste  who  knows  old 
glass  or  silver  can  give  a  present  that  will  really  be  treasured  and  spend 
anywhere  from  a  dollar  to  five  dollars  for  it.  A  gardener  with  the  knack  for 
it  might  make  a  dream  of  an  indoor  rock  garden  and  take  it  to  the  young 
couple  himself.  With  shears,  old  maps,  or  floral  wallpaper  and  some  glue, 
clever  fingers  can  transform  a  metal  waste  basket  into  a  most  useful  and 
decorative  receptacle  for  the  new  living  room.  And  how  about  a  charming 
scrapbook  ready  for  the  clippings  about  the  engagement  and  the  wedding— 
or  perhaps  already  containing  them  as  you  have  gathered  them  yourself? 
Such  gifts  have  real  sentimental  value  and  show  you  have  given  affectionate 
thought.  They  have  something  money  can't  buy.  One  of  my  own  wedding 
gifts  was  a  single,  lovely  covered  dish  of  old  Meissen  removed  from  her 
own  china  shelves  for  me  by  an  old  girlhood  friend  of  my  mother.  It  was 
the  nucleus  of  my  collection  of  old  Meissen,  and  I  never  forget  who  gave 
it  to  me,  whereas  I  sometimes  come  upon  one  of  many  silver  dishes  and 
serving  forks  and  wonder  who  sent  it,  although  I  did  keep  the  proper 
record  at  least  until  all  gifts  were  acknowledged. 

gifts  of  money  in  cash,  checks,  or  bonds  are  often  presented  in  the  names 
of  both  bride  and  groom  the  day  of  the  wedding  either  before  the  ceremony 
or  before  the  reception.  If  they  are  sent  previous  to  the  wedding,  like  all 
wedding  gifts  sent  before  the  marriage,  they  are  made  out  to  the  bride- 
to-be  alone. 

if  the  gift  is  sent  after  the  wedding  While  wedding  gifts  should  arrive,  if 
102 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

possible,  well  before  the  wedding  to  allow  for  their  display  should  the 
bride  so  desire,  in  actuality  many  arrive  after  the  wedding  has  taken  place- 
sometimes  months  later.  Such  gifts,  if  they  are  monogrammed  or  initialed, 
bear  the  married  initials  of  the  bride  or  the  husband's  crest  and  are  addressed 
to  the  bride  and  groom,  not  to  the  bride  alone,  as  are  gifts  arriving  before 
her  marriage  actually  takes  place. 

gifts  to  the  groom  Gifts  are  always  addressed  to  the  bride  before  the  mar- 
riage, even  when  close  friends  of  the  groom  send  them.  If  no  "at  home" 
card  is  in  the  invitation  they  are  sent  to  the  home  of  the  bride,  if  it  is  certain 
that  they  will  arrive  after  the  wedding  or  if  they  are  sent  in  response  to  an 
announcement.  Of  course,  if  one  knows  exactly  where  the  couple's  future 
home  is  to  be  the  gift  can  be  sent  there,  if  it  is  certain  someone  will  be 
present  to  receive  it  should  it  arrive  while  the  bride  and  groom  are  still  on 
their  wedding  trip. 

your  card  with  cifts  When  you  send  your  wedding  gift  enclose  your  card 
with  a  brief  line  of  felicitation  at  the  top,  in  ink.  You  address  your  gift  to 
the  bride  in  her  maiden  name  if  it  is  certain  to  reach  her  before  the  wed- 
ding. Gifts  sent  after  the  wedding— if  sent  in  response  to  an  announcement- 
are  addressed  to  "Mr.  and  Mrs."  If  the  gift  will  arrive  after  a  wedding  to 
which  you  were  invited,  send  it  with  a  short  note  of  explanation  in  a  sealed 
envelope  if  it  is  sent  from  a  shop.  You  might  write: 

Thursday 
Dear  Betty, 

Sorry  this  is  so  very  late. 

We  have  been  traveling.  I  wanted  you  to  have  this  from  our  favorite 
wedding-gift  shop,  so  I  waited  until  we  returned  and  I  could  choose  it 
myself. 

Love, 
Thelma 


DISPLAY    OF    WEDDING    CIFTS 

A  formal  display  of  wedding  gifts  is  less  often  seen  now,  although  it  is  still 
good  taste  to  exhibit  them.  If  the  reception  takes  place  at  the  bride's  home, 
the  gifts  may  be  shown  at  a  tea  before  the  wedding  or  placed  on  display 
on  white  damask-covered  tablecloths  in  some  room  of  the  house,  so  guests 
may  view  them  during  the  reception.  Where  there  are  many  valuable  gifts 
private  detectives  are  engaged  to  guard  them. 

Cards  are  now  removed  from  gifts  displayed,  and  gifts  of  more  or  less 
like  value  are  grouped  together  to  discourage  comparisons.  Checks  are 
recorded  on  cards  which  are  propped  up  for  display.  They  read,  "CHECK, 
$100"  but  the  donor's  name  is  not  given,  though  the  bride  or  groom  often 
reveal  the  information,  as  checks  usually  come  from  close  relatives. 

103 


THE    BRIDE'S   THANK-YOU    LETTER 

Even  if  the  bride  does  not  know  the  sender  of  the  gift,  who  may  be  a  par- 
ticular friend  of  her  husband's,  she  herself  must  write  the  thank-you  note 
just  as  soon  as  she  possibly  can— within  two  or  three  weeks  certainly,  after 
receipt  of  the  gift.  They  should  never  be  written  on  Mr.  and  Mrs.  cards,  nor 
on  cards  that  say  "thank  you"  on  the  top  fold.  They  should  be  on  good 
quality,  conservative  note  paper  or  on  informals  which,  if  engraved  or  im- 
printed, should  carry  the  bride's  name  or  initials  alone.  At  a  large  wedding, 
where  hundreds  of  gifts  must  be  personally  acknowledged,  an  engraved 
card  may  be  sent  immediately  upon  receipt  of  the  gift.  It  reads: 

Miss  Penelope  Kingsley 
wishes  to  acknowledge  the  receipt 

of  your  wedding  gift 

and  will  write  a  personal  note  of 

appreciation  at  an  early  date 

Stereotyped  letters  are  never  worth  reading.  You  know  just  what  they 
are  going  to  say  the  minute  you  see  a  first  line  that  begins,  "It  was  so  kind 
of  you  to  send  the  lovely  cake  plate."  If  you  were  thanking  Aunt  Matilde  face 
to  face,  would  you  say  anything  so  stuffy?  Wouldn't  you  be  more  likely  to 
say,  "What  a  lovely  cake  plate!"  Here  is  how  you  can  put  such  spontaneity 
in  a  thank-you  note: 

Thursday 

Dear  Aunt  Matilde, 

The  lovely  cake  plate  arrived  safe  and  sound.  I  always  wanted  Dresden 
and  now  I  have  a  piece  with  which  to  start  what  I  hope  one  day  will  be  a 
real  collection.  When  you  see  us  in  our  new  little  apartment  I  think  you 
will  like  the  way  I've  used  it  in  our  decoration. 

Love, 
Frances 

Your  letters  and  you  should  be  just  alike.  It's  foolish  to  make  the  written 
expression  of  your  personality  old-womanish  and  out-of-date  if  you  talk  like 
a  nice,  alert,  and  friendly  person. 

Thank-you  notes  for  wedding  presents  are  signed,  "Sincerely,"  "Cordially," 
"Love,"  or  "Affectionately"  (if  the  bride  knows  the  sender  well),  "Mary"— 
or  "Mary  Kerr"  with  her  new  surname  to  someone  to  whom  she  would  not 
be  "Mary." 


104 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF   LIFE 


CHAPTER    ELEVEN 

THE  HONEYMOON  AND  POST-WEDDING  CALLS 


aiomewhere  at  some  time  I  remember  reading  a  stiff-necked  interdiction 
against  the  term  "honeymoon."  Supposedly  "wedding  trip"  is  better  usage. 
In  French  the  term  for  this  carefree  period  of  adjustment  is  "lune  de  miel" 
literally  "moon  of  honey,"  and  there  is  historic  significance  in  the  term.  In 
Europe,  in  some  countries,  the  couple  drank  a  special  beverage,  or  mead, 
called  metheglin,  a  honey  wine,  for  a  month  after  the  wedding— hence  the 
"honey  moon." 

The  modern  honeymoon  is  much  simpler,  and  usually  much  shorter,  than 
that  of  previous  generations.  My  mother's  lasted  three  months  and  included 
a  trip  on  horseback  through  part  of  the  Rockies.  In  the  1860's  a  honeymoon 
could  encompass  a  whole  summer  and  might  include  the  entire  wedding 
party— at  the  bridegroom's  expense.  The  depression  following  the  Civil  War 
put  an  end  to  such  extravagance,  fortunately,  or  it  still  might  be  the 
expected  thing  for  the  groom  to  take  his  and  his  bride's  attendants  along 
on  what  should  be  a  most  private  holiday. 


WHERE    TO    GO    AND    FOR    HOW    LONG 

The  place  and  duration  of  the  honeymoon  must  depend  on  the  amount  of 
time  available  and  the  financial  resources  of  the  groom— for  this  is  his 
expense.  Unless,  of  course,  either  his  or  her  parents,  or  perhaps  both  to- 
gether, are  able  to  give  the  couple  a  honeymoon  as  a  wedding  gift.  A  trip 
to  Europe  or  a  world  cruise  is,  barring  the  interruption  of  war,  a  standard 
wedding  gift  on  the  part  of  parents  who  can  afford  it. 

Even  if  both  bride  and  groom  must  go  back  to  work  immediately  after 
the  ceremony,  as  so  often  happens  in  this  tense  society  of  ours,  some  sort 
of  quiet  getting  away  together  should  be  planned  at  the  earliest  possible 
moment,  before  the  two  are  caught  up  in  the  whirl  of  conjugal  responsi- 
bilities. For  suburbanites  a  week  end  in  a  nearby  city  can  be  honeymoon 
enough,  if  only  that  time  can  be  spared.  For  city  dwellers,  a  trip  to  the 
country  may  accomplish  the  same  thing— a  chance  to  be  more  or  less  alone 
during  the  first  awkward  stage  of  marriage,  a  time  free  of  routine  chores 
and  of  relatives  and  well-meaning  friends. 

Anything  too  different  from  the  sort  of  thing  each  is  used  to  may  be 
a  dangerous  choice  in  the  way  of  a  honeymoon.  A  new  husband  who  loves 

105 


to  walk  would  make  a  mistake  in  choosing  to  introduce  his  bride  to  the 
rigors  of  distance  hiking  if  she's  never  trod  on  anything  but  city  pavements 
and  doesn't  know  what  it  means  to  put  her  feet  in  low-heeled  shoes.  Too 
many  adjustments  should  not  be  made  at  once— to  marriage,  and,  at  the 
same  time,  to  a  strange  and  perhaps  too  demanding  environment  or  activity. 
Instead,  the  couple  should  choose  the  kind  of  place  where  both  will  feel 
comfortable  and  where,  if  they  want  it,  there  will  be  some  sort  of  diversion 
available  in  the  company  of  other  young  people.  It  is  helpful  if  the  honey- 
moon isn't  too— sometimes  embarrassingly— private,  for  it  then  eases  the 
couple  gently  into  married  life  as  it  really  is,  not  two  on  an  island  of  love 
and  kisses,  out  two  as  a  unit  in  a  community  of  friends  and  neighbors. 

POST-WEDDING   CALLS 

In  the  days  when  formal  calling  was  de  rigueur  everyone  asked  to  a  wed- 
ding was  expected  to  call  on  the  bride's  mother  within  three  weeks  after  the 
wedding  and  on  the  bride  and  groom  within  a  reasonable  time  after  they 
had  returned  home,  especially  if  they  had  issued  "at  home"  cards. 

In  actuality,  if  these  formalities  were  rigidly  carried  out  in  our  modern 
society  it  would  make  for  considerable  confusion.  Imagine  the  mother  of 
a  bride,  after  a  large,  elaborate  wedding  to  which  anywhere  from  three 
to  five  hundred  guests  have  come  from  far  and  wide,  having  to  receive 
them  all,  or  at  least  the  women  representatives  of  families,  within  three 
weeks  after  the  last  bit  of  confetti  has  been  swept  out  of  the  hall!  She'll 
want  to  talk  over  the  wedding  with  many  of  her  close  friends,  who  would 
call  in  the  natural  course  of  events.  But  to  be  at  home  to  so  many!  And 
the  poor  bride!  It  will  be  months  before  she  has  her  home  running  in  any 
proper  order.  If  she's  like  the  average  American  girl,  she  knows  less  than 
nothing  about  housekeeping  and  is  either  just  learning  to  cook  or  is  trying 
her  best  to  act  mature  with  a  servant  or  servants  whose  very  functions  she 
hardly  knows.  Into  the  middle  of  all  this,  and  with  wedding  gifts  still  being 
acknowledged,  no  doubt,  step  two  or  three  hundred  callers?  Ridiculous  and 
improbable,  you  say,  but  that's  what  is  supposed  to  be  correct. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  bride's  mother,  who  has  gone  through  considerable 
in  preparation  for  even  a  small  wedding,  expects  to  hear  from  no  one  who 
attended  the  wedding  and  reception,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  close 
friends  and  relatives  who  let  her  know,  by  calling,  dropping  her  a  note,  or 
phoning,  how  well  everything  went  and  how  pleased  they  are  at  the  new 
addition  to  the  family. 

If  the  bride  and  groom  settle  down  in  a  new  neighborhood  they  do  not 
expect  their  parents'  friends  who  came  to  the  wedding  to  come  from  an- 
other community  to  call  upon  them.  They  can  hope  that  their  immediate 
neighbors  will  call,  in  time,  usually  in  a  most  informal  manner.  The  local 
minister,  in  a  small  community,  is  certain  to  call. 

The  modern  bride  doesn't  stand  on  much  ceremony  these  days.  If  she's 
just  fallen  heir  to  a  country  house  and  finds  its  intricacies  too  much  for  her, 

lofe 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

she  may  merely  poke  her  head  through  her  neighbor's  hedge  and  beg  for 
advice,  long  before  the  neighbor  has  decided  it  is  about  time  to  run  in  and 
make  herself  known.  It  is  certainly  simpler  to  say  to  a  neighbor,  who  may 
not  yet  be  conscious  that  you  are  the  one  who's  just  taken  the  Murphy 
house,  "How  do  you  do?  I've  just  moved  in  up  the  street.  I'm  Margaret 
Tillman.  I  wonder  if  I  can  ever  achieve  a  garden  like  that?" 

Of  course,  if  a  bride  moves  to  New  York,  she  may  live  in  the  same 
apartment  house  twenty  years  without  knowing  more  than  the  face  of  the 
apartment  holder  next  door.  In  this  case,  she  must  make  every  effort  to 
establish  contact  with  others  in  the  city  with  whom  she  and  her  husband 
can  begin  a  social  life. 


CHAPTER    TWELVE 

WEDDING  ANNIVERSARIES 


Today,  most  couples  celebrate  their  wedding  anniversaries  in  some  quiet 
way  as  they  come  along.  Some  special  attention  is  often  paid  the  tenth, 
and  usually  the  following  are  really  celebrated  with  one's  friends:  the  twenty- 
fifth,  the  fiftieth,  and  the  seventy-fifth. 

The  same  formality  attends  the  wedding  anniversary  invitation  as  the 
wedding  itself.  Invitations  may  be,  of  course,  engraved  (see  Correspondence 
Section)  or  handwritten  or  telephoned.  They  may  or  may  not  mention  the 
occasion,  in  the  latter  instance  merely  asking  friends  to  dine  on  the  par- 
ticular evening.  Gifts  should  not  be  expected,  except  between  husband  and 
wife,  but  of  course  they  may  be  given  by  close  friends  who  wish  to  give 
them. 

There  is  a  tradition  for  the  giving  of  wedding  anniversary  presents, 
though,  of  course,  it  need  not  be  followed.  Changing  times,  new  fabrics, 
and  products  make  it  advisable  to  extend  the  list  somewhat. 


1st 

paper,  plastics 

8th 

bronze  or  electrical  appliances 

2nd 

cotton 

9th 

pottery  or  china 

3rd 

leather  or  any  leather-like 

10th 

tin  or  aluminum 

article 

11th 

steel 

4th 

linen,  silk,  rayon  or  nylon  or 

12th 

silk,  nylon,  linen 

other  synthetic  silk 

13th 

lace 

5th 

wood 

14th 

ivory  or  agate 

6th 

iron 

15th 

crystal  or  glass 

7th 

wool,  copper,  or  brass 

20th 

china 

107 


25th 

silver 

50th 

gold 

30th 

pearls 

55th 

emeralds  or  turquoise 

35th 

coral  or  jade 

60th 

diamonds  or  gold 

40th 

rubies  or  garnets 

75th 

diamonds  or  gold 

45th 

sapphires  or  tourmalines 

FORMAL    INVITATION    TO    A    WEDDING    ANNIVERSARY 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Roland  Purdy 
request  the  pleasure  of 

the  company  of 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Robjohn* 

at  a  dinner  to  celebrate 

the  seventy-fifth  anniversary  of  their  marriage 

on  Saturday,  the  eighteenth  of  February 

at  eight  o'clock 

850  Park  Avenue 

R.s.v.p. 


In  honour  of 

the  fiftieth  wedding  anniversary  of 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Roland  Purdy 

their  sons  and  daughters 

request  the  pleasure  of 

the  company  of 

Captain  McMurray* 

at  dinner 

on  Saturday,  the  eighteenth  of  February 

at  eight  o'clock 

850  Park  Avenue 

R.s.v.p. 

Mrs.  Gibbs  Purdy 
88  Cricket  Lane 
Larchmont,  New  York 

This  form  is  used  where  listing  of  all  children  would  crowd  the  invitation. 

or, 


Mr.  and  Mrs.  Gibbs  Purdy 

Mr.  Allan  Nye  Purdy 

request  the  pleasure  of 

the  company  of  etc. 


*  Handwritten 
108 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 


REPLIES    TO    FORMAL    INVITATIONS    TO    A    WEDDING    ANNIVERSARY 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Robjohn 

accept  with  pleasure 

the  kind  invitation  of 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Roland  Purdy 

to  dine 

on  Saturday,  the  eighteenth  of  February 

at  eight  o'clock 

Captain  McMurray 

accepts  with  pleasure 

the  kind  invitation 

of  Mrs.  Gibbs  Purdy 

to  dine 

on  Saturday,  the  eighteenth  of  February 

at  eight  o'clock 


CHAPTER    THIRTEEN 

CHRISTENINGS 

WHEN    THE    RARY    IS    CHRISTENED 

Usually  only  infants  and  very  young  children  are  given  godparents,  among 
those  Protestants  believing  in  baptism.  When  a  child  for  some  reason  is  not 
christened  until  he  is  eight  or  nine  years  old,  presumably  at  the  age  of 
understanding  and  able  to  read  the  service  with  the  clergyman,  he  may 
accept  the  sacrament  on  his  own  cognizance.  His  parents  are  present  and  he 
usually  receives  a  baptismal  gift  of  some  significance. 

invitations  to  the  christening  Invitations  to  a  christening  are  always  handled 
informally,  by  brief  note,  by  phone,  by  telegram,  or  in  person  and  should 
go  only  to  those  believed  to  be  really  interested  in  the  event  by  reason  of 
their  relationship  to  or  close  friendship  with  the  parents.  Here  is  an  example: 

Dear  Gertrude, 

Cornelia  is  being  christened  this  coming  Sunday  at  church.  Will  you  stay 
after  the  regular  service  for  the  ceremony  and  then  join  us  at  home  for 
lunch? 

Love 

Norma 


Even  such  an  informal  note  is  not  necessary  if  a  guest  is  readily  reached 
by  phone. 

dressing  the  baby  for  the  occasion  The  armful  of  petticoats  and  the  long, 
embroidered  christening  dress  are  lovely  but  definitely  a  luxury,  as  the 
modern  baby  in  everyday  life  is  free  of  such  bundling.  If  you  have  a  christen- 
ing gown  that's  been  handed  down  or  can  borrow  one  or  are  given  one,  use 
it  by  all  means,  but  a  short  white  dress  for  a  little  baby— the  kind  all  new- 
born babies  receive  from  someone  or  other— will  do  for  the  christening.  And 
shoes,  even  those  little  silk-topped  and  soled  ones,  are  not  necessary  either. 
The  baby  wears  white  booties  in  cold  weather  and  can  be  barefoot  when 
it's  warm.  If  he  needs  a  bonnet  and  coat,  it  can  be  of  any  baby  color,  or 
white,  but  both  are  removed,  as  noted,  before  the  ceremony. 

.  what  others  wear  Adults  and  children  attending  the  christening,  whether 
at  home  or  in  church,  dress  as  for  church,  and  the  women's  heads  are 
covered— to  be  punctilious— even  at  home  during  the  religious  ceremony  if 
covering  the  head  is  the  custom  for  women  in  the  church  of  the  officiating 
clergyman.  It  is  always  correct  for  women  to  go  covered  to  church  or  to  any 
church  ceremony  such  as  a  wedding,  funeral,  or  christening,  even  when  it  is 
not  actually  required  as,  for  example,  among  Congregationalists.  Head 
covering  is  required  in  church  by  Catholics  and  expected  by  Episcopalians. 


GODPARENTS    AND    THEIR    RESPONSIBILITIES 

Godparents  chosen,  according  to  the  custom  of  various  denominations,  from 
among  close  friends  and  occasionally  relatives  of  the  baby's  parents  are 
preferably  of  the  same  religion  as  the  parents.  Or,  if  they  are  not,  they  must 
be  willing  to  answer  the  baptismal  questions  in  the  prayer  book  to  serve 
at  an  Episcopal  Christening.  Catholic  children  must  have  Catholic  god- 
parents. And  Catholics  may  not  serve  as  godparents  to  a  child  of  another 
faith. 

Godparents  about  the  same  age  as  the  parents,  or  younger,  should  be 
chosen  very  carefully  from  among  one's  oldest  and  closest  friends,  as  the' 
association  itself  should  be  long  and  close  with  the  child.  In  the  service 
the  godparents  promise  to  oversee  the  spiritual  education  of  the  child  and 
see  that  he  is  confirmed.  They  have  an  implied  responsibility  of  parenthood, 
should  the  actual  parents  die  before  the  child  reaches  maturity  (although 
legal  guardian  arrangements  are  usually  noted  in  wills).  Once  asked  to 
serve  as  a  godparent,  a  friend  is  virtually  bound  to  accept. 

The  godparents  need  not  be  present  at  the  christening  but  may  be  repre- 
sented by  proxies,  who,  too,  are  chosen  from  among  close  friends.  Often 
various  friends  and  relatives  invited  to  the  christening  bring  gifts  to  the 
baby,  but  the  godparents  always  present  him  with  something  he  can  use 
and  perhaps  hand  down  to  his  own  children— a  silver  porringer,  a  mug,  or 
a  fork,  spoon,  and  pusher  set.  One  of  my  children  received  a  magnificent 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  Of  LIFE 


engraved  Sheffield  hot-water  plate,  fine  for  keeping  his  baby  food  hot  but 
also  fine  for  the  time  he  begins  entertaining  in  his  bachelor  quarters.  The 
plate  will  be  excellent  for  hot  hors  d'oeuvres. 


CHURCH    CHRISTENINGS 

If  the  christening  is  to  take  place  in  church,  arrangements  are  made  with 
the  clergyman  and  the  time  set.  As  babies  are  not  always  too  happy  about 
their  christenings,  it  is  best  for  them  to  be  brought  to  the  church  just 
before  the  event  is  to  take  place.  The  godparents  arrive  either  with  them 
or  shortly  before  and  take  their  places  near  the  font  in  front  of  the  clergy- 
man, with  other  friends  and  relatives  near  by. 

If  the  baby  has  been  dressed  in  cap  and  jacket  for  the  trip  to  the  church, 
the  outer  things  are  removed  and,  if  the  church  is  chilly,  the  baby  wrapped 
in  a  white  afghan  and  handed  to  the  godmother,  without  his  cap.  As  the 
clergyman  takes  his  place,  the  congregation  stands.  At  the  proper  moment 
in  a  Protestant  ceremony  the  godmother  hands  the  baby  to  the  clergyman 
and,  when  asked  his  name,  pronounces  it  very  carefully.  In  the  Catholic  cere- 
mony the  godmother  or  a  nurse  holds  the  baby  over  the  font  to  receive 
the  holy  water.  If  other  than  a  godparent  holds  the  baby,  spiritual  contact 
by  the  godparents  is  established  by  the  godparents  touching  the  child 
during  the  ceremony.  If  the  name  is  at  all  complicated,  it  should  be  written 
down  for  the  minister  and  handed  to  him  just  before  the  start  of  the  cere- 
mony, as  the  baby's  baptismal  name  becomes  his  legally. 

After  the  close  of  the  service  the  clergyman  signs  the  baptismal  certificate, 
usually  included  in  a  little  commemorative  book  where  there  are  spaces 
for  the  names  of  the  godparents,  the  parents,  and  the  various  witnesses  to 
the  ceremony.  At  a  Catholic  christening  the  baptismal  certificate  is  not  neces- 
sarily presented  at  the  close  of  the  ceremony  but  is  available  anytime.  It 
is  required  for  the  child's  first  Holy  Communion,  for  Confirmation,  and 
for  marriage. 

the  fee  As  with  other  church  sacraments,  there  is  never  any  required  fee, 
but  parents  usually  do  hand  the  minister  an  envelope  containing  an  appro- 
priate amount,  anywhere  from  five  dollars  to  fifty  dollars  or  more,  depend- 
ing on  whether  or  not  the  christening  is  to  be  followed  by  a  large  luncheon, 
tea,  or  reception— to  which  the  clergyman  and  his  wife  or  the  priest  must 
be  invited.  Of  course,  particularly  on  Sunday,  they  may  find  it  difficult  to 
attend. 


CHRISTENING    AT    HOME 

The  baby  is  more  likely  to  enjoy  his  christening  if  he  may  go  through  the 
short  ceremony  in  the  comfort  of  his  own  home,  with  as  little  change  in  his 
usual  routine   as   possible.    Some   Protestant   denominations   permit   home 

111 


christenings.  Catholics  do  not  permit  home  christenings  except  in  case  of 
dire  emergency  before  the  administration  of  last  rites. 

The  requirements  are  a  pleasant,  flower-decorated  room  with  space  for  the 
assembled  guests,  a  small,  waist-high  table  on  which  is  set  a  silver  bowl  to 
be  used  as  the  font.  If  the  table  has  a  high  patina,  it  is  often  left  bare,  or  it 
may  be  covered  to  the  floor  with  damask.  The  base  of  the  bowl  may  be 
placed  within  a  circlet  of  delicate,  white  babylike  flowers— sweet  william, 
gypsophila,  white  violets,  anemones,  lily  of  the  valley,  or  even  fern.  At  a 
late  afternoon  christening  followed  by  tea,  white  tapers  in  silver  candle- 
sticks, lighted  of  course,  are  suitable  on  the  table  if  they  don't  crowd  the 
arrangement. 

At  the  home  christening  the  clergyman  is  not  necessarily  in  vestments,  but 
if  he  is  to  dress  he  is  shown  to  a  special  room.  If  the  christening  is  followed 
by  a  reception  he  changes  into  his  street  clothes  immediately  after  the  cere- 
mony before  attending  the  reception. 

If  very  young,  the  baby  necessarily  appears  only  briefly— just  long  enough 
for  the  ceremony.  If  he  is  older,  and  sociable,  he  may  enjoy  watching  the 
celebration  of  the  occasion  by  his  elders  from  some  quiet  corner,  where  he 
may  be  occasionally  admired  but  not  disturbed  by  his  well-wishers.  He  may 
even  be  able  to  enjoy  a  grain  or  two  of  his  christening  cake. 


HEFRESHMENTS 

Champagne,  plain  or  in  a  delicate  punch,  has  replaced  the  traditional  caudle 
cup  at  christenings.  But  at  an  afternoon  christening  a  good  dry  sherry  or,  in 
winter,  a  hot  mulled  cider  or  wine  might  be  very  welcome. 

A  morning  or  early  afternoon  christening  is  sometimes  followed  by  a 
luncheon,  often  buffet.  But  whether  a  tea  or  a  luncheon  is  given,  the  food 
is  more  or  less  the  kind  one  serves  at  wedding  receptions.  There  is  some  kind 
of  festive  beverage  for  toasting  the  baby's  health,  and  the  christening  cake. 
The  godfather  proposes  the  first  toast. 

The  cake  is  a  white  cake  with  white  icing.  It  may  have  white  icing 
decorations  and  often  bears  the  baby's  initials  or  name  and  sometimes  the 
date  of  the  christening. 

It  should  be  kept  in  mind  that  this  is  a  celebration  in  honor  of  the  baby, 
following  a  formal  religious  ceremony.  It  has  a  character  quite  different 
from  a  cocktail  party  and  should  be  kept  on  such  a  plane  that  even  the  most 
Conservative  baby  could  not  object  to  the  behavior  and  bearing  of  his  elders. 


112 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 


CHAPTER    FOURTEEN 

DEBUTS 


In  Victorian  days,  when  young  girls  up  to  the  age  of  about  eighteen  were 
closely  guarded  at  home  their  debuts  or  formal  introduction  to  their  parents' 
friends  in  society  had  some  meaning.  Today  it  is  an  empty  form  rejected  by 
most  young  women  whose  families  are  in  a  position  to  launch  them  in  the 
once  expected  manner.  If  a  daughter  of  mine  really  wanted  to  make  her 
debut,  I'd  insist  on  her  joining  a  group  in  a  mass  debut.  I  cannot  imagine 
buying  a  "list"  of  so-called  eligible  young  men  I  have  never  seen  to  fill  out 
the  stag  line.  And  I'd  be  disappointed  if  any  daughter  of  mine  would  be 
interested  in  such  shallow  social  success. 


KINDS    OF    DEBUTS 

The  individual  debut,  as  I've  indicated,  is  growing  rare  indeed,  and  debuts, 
when  they  do  take  place,  are  often  en  masse.  Debutantes  make  their  bows  in 
large  groups  at  the  various  Cotillions  and  Assemblies  in  the  large  cities.  These 
are  charity  affairs  to  which  the  girls'  fathers  make  a  contribution  in  lieu  of 
spending  a  usually  much  larger  amount  on  a  private  debut.  The  mass  debut 
does,  therefore,  serve  a  useful  purpose,  besides  giving  a  young  girl  a  chance 
to  wear  a  beautiful  dress  (usually  white  and  diaphanous,  though  pastel  colors 
are  often  permitted  by  the  Committee).  Often  the  debutante  balls  are  pre- 
ceded by  private  dinners  in  honor  of  individual  debutantes.  In  many  cities  it 
is  expected  that  each  girl  attending  the  ball  subscribe  for  two  escorts. 

In  the  outrageous  twenties,  and  even  during  the  thirties,  there  were  huge 
private  debuts— especially  in  New  York— whose  cost  and  elaborateness  were 
positively  vulgar.  Fifty  thousand  dollars  for  a  debut  was  not  an  eye-popping 
sum  by  any  means.  And  all  this  fuss  for  young  girls  who  had  been  seen 
around  in  night  clubs  and  all  the  most  prominent  restaurants  and  resorts 
almost  since  their  emergence  from  pigtails! 

While  the  private  debut  still  occurs  occasionally,  it  is  usually  in  the  form 
of  a  dinner  party  or  perhaps  a  dance  at  home  or  in  a  hotel.  However,  the 
afternoon  reception  or  tea  during  the  winter  and  spring  college  holidays  has 
its  adherents,  especially  among  the  more  conservative.  The  dinner  party, 
which  is  usually  given  for  the  girl's  friends  rather  than  for  those  of  her 
parents,  may  be  given  by  her  mother— or  grandmother  or  other  sponsor- 
together  with  the  mother  of  another  girl,  as  a  joint  effort. 


113 


Girls  who  do  come  out  usually  wait  until  they  have  finished  school.  But 
as  more  girls  are  now  going  to  college  instead  of  stopping  their  schooling  at 
seventeen  or  eighteen,  those  who  choose  higher  education  often  bypass  a 
debut.  For  the  debutante  is  officially  on  the  marriage  market,  while  the  col- 
lege girl  with  four  years  or  more  of  education  ahead  of  her  is  probably 
thinking  in  terms  of  career-before-marriage.  So  why  should  she  make  her 
debut? 


THE    EVENING   DEBUT 

The  debutante  at  an  evening  debut  may  wear  a  bouffant  dance  dress, 
usually  white,  and  her  mother's  formal  evening  dress  may  be  dark  in  color 
but  preferably  not  black.  Both  may  wear  some  hair  ornament— flowers  or  a 
diadem  but  not  hats.  The  father,  in  full  evening  dress,  does  not  stand  in 
line  but,  as  at  a  wedding,  usually  hovers  in  the  vicinity  to  act  as  host. 
Friends  of  the  debutante,  in  dresses  similar  to  hers,  who  have  been  asked 
to  "receive"  with  her  do  not  actually  stand  in  the  line,  either.  They  just  feel 
a  little  more  important  and,  at  a  sit-down  supper,  are  seated  with  the  debu- 
tante. (For  details  of  formal  dance  see  "Formal  Dances  at  Home.") 


tHE  DEBUTANTE  TEA 

The  debutante  "tea"  is  more  properly  a  reception,  as  it  is  often  followed  by 
dancing,  which  naturally  requires  gentlemen,  and  the  gentlemen,  in  turn, 
often  prefer  something  stronger  than  tea.  In  this  case,  the  tea  table  ceases 
to  be  the  central  theme  and  must  cede  honors  to  the  bar.  If  the  debutante 
tea  dansant  is  in  a  club  or  hotel,  champagne  or  cocktails  may  be  passed  by 
waiters  or  a  table  may  be  set  up  with  a  punch  such  as  "Fish  House." 

There  is  a  receiving  line  consisting  of  the  mother  of  the  debutante,  or 
whoever  the  sponsor  may  be,  and  the  debutante  herself.  Sometimes  her 
father  is  in  line  for  a  short  while  in  the  beginning.  She  carries  her  father's 
bouquet  and  displays  her  other  flowers  in  a  floral  background  where  she 
and  the  hostess  stand,  usually  before  a  fireplace.  Even  though  it  may  still  be 
daylight,  the  curtains  are  drawn  and  the  candles  lighted.  The  debutante 
wears  the  kind  of  dress  a  bridesmaid  would  wear,  usually  white  but  perhaps 
a  pale  color.  Her  mother,  or  sponsor,  wears  an  afternoon  dress  in  a  color 
other  than  black,  preferably  something  fairly  neutral,  and  they  both  are 
gloved  but  hatless.  The  debutante  may  wear  a  flower  in  her  hair. 

The  debutante,  as  at  an  evening  debut,  asks  numerous  young  men  to  act 
as  ushers  and  tries  to  arrange  it  so  that  there  are  approximately  eleven  men 
to  every  ten  girls.  Some  of  her  best  friends  are  asked  to  "receive"  with  her. 
They  wear  fluffy,  semiformal  dresses,  and  perhaps  the  debutante  may  give 
them  identifying  corsages,  but  they  do  not  stand  in  line.  They  do,  however, 
stay  throughout  the  reception. 

114 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 

The  debutante's  flowers  come  from  her  relatives,  her  best  beaux,  her 
family's  friends,  but  it  is  not  at  all  obligatory  for  all  attending  to  send 
flowers  and  girls  never  do. 

After  all  guests  have  been  received  the  debutante  may  join  the  dancing, 
usually  accepting  her  first  invitation  from  her  father. 

Guests  who  must  leave  before  the  receiving  line  breaks  up,  wait  their 
chance  on  the  side  lines,  then  say  a  brief  "good-by  and  thank-you"  first  to 
the  hostess,  then  to  the  bud.  But  every  young  man  present  at  a  tea  dansant 
should  seek  a  dance  with  the  debutante,  and  well-bred  young  men  remem- 
ber to  ask  her  mother  as  well  as  other  older  ladies  present. 


CHAPTER    FIFTEEN 

COURTSHIP  AND  ENGAGEMENTS 


Eventually,  in  the  course  of  things,  a  girl  begins  to  narrow  her  interest  in 
young  men  to  one  young  man.  A  fairly  long  courtship  and  a  brief  engage- 
ment seem  to  be  a  safe  formula.  The  courtship  period  is  casual  and  informal, 
without  pledges  on  either  side.  It  gives  each  a  chance  to  know  the  other 
better— and  yet  make  a  graceful  exit  if  that  seems  expedient. 

Wherever  possible,  a  girl  should  receive  an  attentive  man  in  her  own 
home  and  not  see  him  exclusively  in  the  artificial  atmosphere  of  the  theater, 
restaurants,  and  other  places  of  amusement.  He  needs,  if  possible,  to  evalu- 
ate her  with  her  family,  or  at  least  in  her  own  home,  and  to  see  her  with 
her  friends,  to  help  him  decide  whether  or  not  life  with  her  would  be  com- 
fortable and  companionable  as  well  as  romantically  satisfying. 

If  her  relationships  with  her  family  are  good  and  happy,  no  girl  need  be 
ashamed  to  bring  a  suitor  into  the  most  modest  home,  even  if  he  be  from  a 
more  prosperous  background.  And,  conversely,  a  man  should  be  highly 
suspicious  of  the  girl  who  does  not  wish  him  to  meet  her  family  and  her 
intimate  friends.  It  is  important,  too,  for  the  girl  to  know  and  become 
familiar  with  his  background  and  interests. 

It  is  impossible  for  a  man  and  woman  to  know  whether  they  are  really 
suited  to  one  another  if  they  spend  all  their  courtship  time  in  the  exclusive 
company  of  each  other.  Each  should  give  the  other  an  opportunity  to  expose 
to  searching  consideration  his  best  and  worst  sides.  They  should  see  each 
other  in  the  give  and  take  of  family  life,  or  at  least  among  close  friends  with 
kindred  interests.  Otherwise  a  resulting  marriage  is  in  for  rude  shocks  and 
accusations  of,  "If  I'd  known  such  and  such  I'd  never  have  married  you!" 

"5 


MEETING   A   MAN'S    FAMILY   AND    FRIENDS 

If  a  girl  is  taken  to  meet  a  man's  family  before  he  has  said  anything  definite 
about  marriage,  she  should  be  careful  to  be  friendly  and  interested,  but  not 
too  interested.  Often  a  man  is  chary  of  introducing  a  girl  into  his  own  circle 
before  he  has  very  nearly  made  up  his  own  mind  about  her,  because  either 
she  or  his  family  and  friends  might  assume  a  seriousness  about  the  relation- 
ship that  may  never  develop.  If  he  is  wise,  he  might  warn  his  family  in 
advance  not  to  jump  to  conclusions.  And  the  girl  must  pretend  not  to  hear 
any  little  inter-family  raillery  concerning  John  and  herself.  Nothing  frightens 
a  man  more  than  presumption  on  the  part  of  a  woman.  If  ever  a  woman 
needs  to  be  obtuse  with  the  male  it  is  when  he  is  courting  her  but  has  not 
yet  declared  himself. 


GIFTS    BEFORE    THE    ENGAGEMENT 

A  man's  gifts  to  any  girl  other  than  a  relative,  before  the  engagement  is 
announced,  should  be  relatively  impersonal.  In  other  words,  they  should 
never  admit— or  imply— intimacy  or  be  so  costly  or  conspicuous  as  to  cause 
talk.  He  might  give  her  a  scarf,  gloves,  or  handkerchiefs,  but  not  a  dress, 
hat,  underthings,  hosiery,  or  fur  of  any  kind.  He  might  give  her  a  book,  but 
not  an  expensive  set  of  books.  If  she's  a  bachelor  girl  with  her  own  quarters 
he  might  give  her  a  cocktail  shaker  or  a  toaster,  if  she  needed  or  wanted 
one,  and  he  knew  her  well  enough,  but  never  a  bed  jacket  or  anything  so 
intimate.  He  would,  of  course,  pay  for  her  taxi  but  never  embarrass  her  by 
trying  to  pay  the  grocery  or  other  household  bill  at  the  door  or  in  a  shop 
where  they  happen  to  be  together.  To  do  anything  that  puts  a  girl  in  an 
untenable  position  is  to  be  less  than  a  gentleman. 

the  exception  is  liquor  While  a  man  visiting  a  woman  at  her  own  home  may 
not  pay  for  groceries  or  other  household  supplies  should  they  happen  to  be 
delivered,  he  does  pay  for  anything,  such  as  liquor  or  food,  he  has  ordered 
sent  in,  just  as  he  would  if  he  were  the  host  in  a  restaurant.  If,  with  his 
hostess'  permission,  he  has  ordered  a  special  dinner  sent  in  from  a  caterer, 
instead  of  taking  her  out,  he  takes  care  of  the  check.  If  he  feels  he  has  ac- 
cepted her  hospitality  too  often  and  wishes  to  replenish  her  bar  supplies,  he 
may  do  so— within  reasonable  limits.  And  always  with  her  permission. 

refusing  A  gift  A  too-intimate  or  too-expensive  gift  is  sometimes  offered  by  a 
man  who  just  doesn't  know  any  better.  If  a  girl  receives  such  a  gift  she 
should  be  tactful.  She  should  not  show  it  nor  try  to  explain  it.  She  should, 
instead,  return  it  to  the  donor  with  some  such  remark  as  this,  "I  know  you 
didn't  realize  it,  but  I  couldn't  possibly  accept  such  a  gift  from  you,  much  as 
I  appreciate  your  kindness  in  wanting  to  make  me  a  gift."  If  she  does  this  in 
a  kindly  way  he  won't  be  too  embarrassed,  and  she  won't  be  compromised. 
ii6 


PART   ONE     THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

THE    PROPOSAL 

The  number  of  men  today  who  ask,  in  so  many  words,  that  a  girl  marry  them 
is  probably  very  limited,  despite  the  testimony  of  the  movies  and  fiction. 
The  engagement  is  usually  approached  by  a  very  circuitous  route,  probably 
because  young  people  now  have  ample  opportunity  to  spend  time  in  each 
other's  company  and  to  know  each  other  well  before  any  discussion  of  mar- 
riage takes  place.  Victorian  times  must  have  been  very  difficult  for  suitors, 
because  it  was  only  after  they  had  proposed,  and  received  father's  consent, 
that  they  had  any  opportunity  to  know  the  girl  of  their  choice.  And  even  then 
contact  was  on  the  most  restricted  plane  and  sternly  chaperoned. 

Any  girl  with  common  sense  knows  when  a  man  is  trying  to  propose  and 
either  helps  him  commit  himself  or  discourages  him  from  doing  so  before 
he  has  gone  too  far.  It  is  certainly  unkind  to  encourage  the  expression  of  a 
proposal  only  to  turn  it  down.  Yet  an  obstinate  coyness  on  the  part  of  a  girl 
who  would  really  like  to  accept  a  proposal,  were  it  offered,  often  deters  a 
man,  who  fears  he  will  be  refused.  In  other  words,  it  is  up  to  the  woman, 
at  the  right  time,  to  let  a  man  know  that  a  proposal,  if  offered,  will  be  ac- 
cepted. 

THE  CONFERENCE  WITH  FATHER 

These  days  people  feel  it  is  their  right  and  privilege  to  become  engaged 
and  even  to  marry  without  the  prior  permission  or  sometimes  even  the 
knowledge  of  the  bride's  parents— or  of  the  groom's.  Perhaps  the  pre-proposal 
conference  with  father  is  archaic,  but  the  well-bred  young  man  will  want 
to  make  some  attempt  to  confer  with  his  future  father-in-law  alone  or  in  the 
presence  of  his  fiancee.  The  reason  for  this  is  still  the  practical  one.  A  girl's 
parents,  especially  if  they  have  been  supporting  their  daughter,  have  the 
right  to  know  just  how  her  fiance  proposes  to  take  care  of  her  after  the 
marriage,  in  short,  what  his  income  is  and  his  savings,  if  any,  and  what  may 
be  his  future  expectations. 

Many  young  marriages  need  some  subsidy.  But  for  young  people  to  as- 
sume blithely  that  their  parents  will  go  on  bearing  some  of  the  burden  of 
their  support,  without  having  had  a  complete  understanding  as  to  the  extent 
of  the  help  beforehand,  is  to  court  trouble. 

In  the  ecstasy  of  love  many  a  young  pair  vastly  overestimate  their  ability 
to  get  along  on  the  income  available  to  them  once  they  leave  their  parents' 
homes.  They  have  little  or  no  idea  of  what  it  costs  to  run  even  a  simple 
establishment  in  the  way  they  have  been  accustomed  to  living.  A  business- 
like talk  with  the  bride's  father  or  perhaps  a  conference  with  all  four  parents 
can  help  start  a  young  marriage  along  the  right  path.  If  the  bride's  father 
knows,  for  example,  that  the  attractive  and  promising  young  man  Mary 
wants  to  marry  has  only  five  hundred  dollars  in  the  bank,  he  may  be  able  to 
augment  that  amount  with  a  substantial  cash  gift  in  lieu  of  an  elaborate 

j  17 


wedding.  Or  he  might  plan  a  very  practical  present,  such  as  a  major  furnish- 
ing item  for  their  living  quarters. 

I  once  knew  a  debutante  who,  given  her  choice  of  a  $20,000  wedding  or 
the  cash,  chose  the  wedding  with  its  twenty  bridesmaids,  full  orchestra, 
champagne,  several  hundred  guests  and  all  the  attendant  expense,  and  then 
went  to  live  in  a  one-room  apartment  with  her  young  husband,  whose 
salary  was  fifty  dollars  a  week  and  whose  savings  were  nil.  Most  brides  don't 
have  such  a  choice— or  so  little  sense,  either— but  they  can  be  helped  to  face 
reality  with  the  counsel  of  older  advisers. 

It  is  very  comfortable  to  start  married  life  on  a  sound  financial  basis.  If 
you  are  marrying  on  a  shoestring,  there  is  no  shame  in  admitting  it  to  one's 
family  and  intimate  friends.  In  this  way  the  inevitable  presents  can  have 
a  more  practical  aspect,  especially  if  the  engaged  couple  prepares  a  list  of 
the  things  needed— from  a  toaster  to  dinnerware— and  leaves  this  list,  provi- 
dentially, with  their  parents. 

HOW  LONG  SHOULD  AN  ENGAGEMENT  LAST? 

It  is  wise  for  a  couple  to  fix  a  date  for  the  expected  marriage,  as  a  too 
attenuated  engagement  is  hard  for  both,  but  particularly  hard  for  the  girl 
should  the  marriage  not  take  place  and  her  other  possible  suitors  slip  out 
of  her  circle.  Except  under  extraordinary  circumstances,  a  formal  engage- 
ment should  not  last  more  than  six  months.  And  any  man  or  woman  who 
lets  the  engagement  run  into  a  matter  of  years  for  any  reason  whatsoever  is 
not  a  good  marriage  risk— at  least  not  for  that  possible  partner. 

IS    AN    ENGAGEMENT   IRREVOCABLE? 

Engagements  were  made  to  be  broken.  Never,  if  you  have  just  become  en- 
gaged, assume  that  the  engagement  will  necessarily  terminate  in  marriage. 
If  more  engagements  were  honestly  viewed  before  marriages  are  entered  into 
there  would  be  far  fewer  divorces.  A  man  or  woman  should  never  be  made 
to  feel  that  by  virtue  of  the  exchange  of  an  engagement  ring  he  or  she  is 
irrevocably  committed  to  the  appointed  marriage.  This  does  not  mean  that 
an  engagement  should  be  lightly  entered  into  or  lightly  broken.  But  an 
engagement  is  a  tentative  thing.  It  means,  "If  all  goes  well  between  us,  we 
hope  to  be  married  at  a  later  date." 

THE    ENGAGEMENT    RING 

Many  a  modern  bride  eschews  a  diamond  or  any  other  engagement  ring. 
If  she  does  want  one,  she  should  help  choose  it,  with  the  kind  of  wedding 
band  she  wants  in  mind.  If  her  wedding  ring  is  to  be  wide,  she  may  decide 
that  it  would  be  more  attractive  to  have  that  inset  with  small  diamonds  or 
some  other  stone,  making  it  engagement-and-wedding  ring  in  one.  Two 
rings  on  one  finger  don't  always  make  an  attractive  or  comfortable  combina- 

118 


PART    ONE       THE   CEREMONIES   OF   LIFE 

tion.  Sometimes  an  eager  fiance,  buying  an  engagement  ring  without  his 
bride-to-be,  selects  one  that  can't  be  worn  with  an  ordinary  wedding  ring, 
so  that  after  she  is  married  the  bride  can  wear  her  engagement  ring  only 
if  she  takes  off  her  wedding  ring,  or  she  must  have  a  new  wedding  ring  made 
to  fit  under  the  engagement  ring  setting.  If  an  engagement  ring  is  given, 
the  wedding  ring  should  be  of  the  same  metal. 

how  much  for  the  ring?  We  used  to  believe  a  young  man  should  buy  the 
finest  engagement  ring  his  circumstances  permitted.  If  the  engagement  is  to 
be  fairly  long  and  if  a  ring  seems  very  important  to  the  girl,  she  should 
have  a  ring.  What  it  costs,  whether  or  not  it  is  a  diamond,  what  size  the 
stone  is— are  all  irrelevant.  Any  girl  worth  her  salt  prefers  a  ring  her  man 
can  afford  to  one  for  which  he  must  go  into  debt  or  which  his  father  must 
buy.  On  the  other  hand,  she  will  gladly  accept  a  family  heirloom,  if  she  is 
offered  it,  in  place  of  a  new  ring.  It  is  possible  she  may  really  prefer  some 
other  article  of  jewelry,  even  when  money  is  no  consideration— a  watch, 
bracelet,  or  pin. 

ENGAGEMENT    PARTIES 

Engagement  parties  are  given  by  the  parents  of  the  bride-to-be.  Invited 
to  them  are  those  closest  to  the  couple— relatives  and  friends  of  both 
families,  young  and  old.  Occasionally,  if  the  fiance  is  not  present,  the  party 
is  limited  to  women  guests  and  may  be  a  luncheon  or  tea.  Sometimes  it  is 
an  evening  reception,  dinner,  or  "at  home."  The  news  of  the  engagement 
is  made  known  in  various  ways.  At  a  luncheon  or  tea,  guests  may  be  met  at 
the  door  with  a  basket  of  corsages  or  individual  flowers  such  as  carnations 
to  which  are  attached  double  cards  with  the  two  names  "Betty  and  Tom" 
or  if  one  or  the  other  is  quite  unknown  to  the  majority,  the  names  in  full. 
In  some  parts  of  the  country  great  ingenuity  is  shown  in  the  disclosure  of 
the  news.  At  smaller  gatherings,  especially  family  dinners,  a  toast  to  the 
couple  often  serves  this  purpose  nicely  and  is  proposed  by  the  girl's  father, 
at  the  end  of  the  meal,  in  champagne. 

The  bride-to-be  may  have  her  engagement  ring  on  her  finger  at  the 
announcement  party  as  she  does  not  wish  to  remove  it  once  it  has  been 
given  to  her.  However,  she  does  not  officially  show  it  to  her  friends  until 
the  announcement  is  made  either  by  her  father  or  in  some  other  way  if 
the  surprise  element  is  to  be  maintained.  An  engaged  girl  may  give  her 
fiance  an  engagement  gift  after  she  has  received  her  ring.  It  is  usually  some- 
thing of  a  personal  nature,  such  as  gold  cuff  links,  a  watch  or  watch  chain 
(for  evening  wear),  or  studs. 

Guests  at  an  engagement  party  may  or  may  not,  as  they  wish,  bring  gifts. 
Linens,  household  appliances,  jewelry,  lingerie,  are  all  suitable. 

THE    GIRL'S    WEDDING    RING 

Although  the  bride  may  help  select  her  wedding  ring,  she  does  not  see  it 
again  until  the  wedding. 

The  engagement  ring  is  not  engraved  on  the  inside,  but  the  wedding  band 

119 


usually  is— "J.W.M.  to  A.P."  and  the  date,  with  the  groom's  initials  first,  or 
"A.P.— J.W.M."  and  the  date,  with  the  bride's  initials  first.  If  the  band  is 
wide,  there  may  be  room  for  anything  else  that  may  seem  apropos.  Inside 
my  own  for  special  reasons  a  tiny  rose  is  engraved  on  each  anniversary. 
The  modern  bride  doesn't  worry  about  the  occasional  removal  of  her  wed- 
ding ring— especially  if  she  has  one  set  with  jewels  that  need  professional 
cleaning. 

THE    MAN'S    WEDDING    RING 

If  the  groom  wishes  to  wear  a  wedding  ring,  he  should  select  one  that  is 
plain  gold  and  definitely  masculine.  It  is  engraved  as  a  gift  from  his  bride 
"A.P.  to  J.W.M.,"  with  the  date  and,  if  the  bride  wishes,  any  phrase  or 
motto  that  means  something  to  them  both.  The  groom's  ring  is  the  bride's 
gift  to  him. 

IF    THE    MARRIAGE    DOES    NOT    TAKE    PLACE 

If  a  girl  decides  to  break  her  engagement  she  returns  the  man's  ring,  al- 
though legally  it  is  hers  to  keep— a  gesture  that  would  certainly  be  con- 
sidered mercenary.  If  her  fiance  dies  no  one  would  expect  her  to  return  the 
ring  to  his  family,  if  he  has  one,  although  if  she  does  not  know  them  well  and 
has  received  a  family  heirloom  as  an  engagement  present  she  should  at  least 
offer  to  return  it.  If  she  has  been  given  a  new  ring  she  can  continue  to  wear 
it,  but  not  on  the  engagement  finger.  She  may  wish  to  have  the  stone  reset 
in  some  other  piece  of  jewelry. 

WHERE    WILL    THEY    LIVE? 

With  very  few  exceptions,  it  is  a  very  bad  choice  for  a  young  couple  to  plan 
to  live  with  either  set  of  parents,  even  on  a  temporary  basis.  If  their  parents 
live  well  the  young  people  may  be  reluctant  to  start  out  in  the  more  modest 
kind  of  home  they  can  provide  for  themselves.  It  is  safer  for  the  marriage 
if  the  newly  married  people  share  the  home  of  strangers  rather  than  that 
of  either  of  their  families.  It  is  difficult  for  even  the  most  understanding 
parents  to  think  of  their  children  under  their  own  roof  as  anything  but  chil- 
dren. Even  the  youngest  husband  needs  to  feel  he  is  the  head  of  the  house. 

ANNOUNCING    THE    ENGAGEMENT 

Here  is  a  complete  engagement  announcement. 

CYNTHIA   ANN    TALBOTT 
TO   WED   ASA   G.    SANTOS 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Loring  Talbott,  of  10  Low  Place,  announce  the  engagement 
of  their  daughter,  Cynthia  Ann,  to  Mr.  Asa  Griggs  Santos,  son  of  Dr.  and 
Mrs.  Jose  Santos  of  Havana,  Cuba. 

Miss  Talbott  is  a  graduate  of  Miss  Hewitt's  Classes  and  of  Vassar  College. 
Mr.  Santos  is  a  senior  in  the  Yale  School  of  Medicine  and  a  member  of  Phi 
Beta  Kappa.  The  wedding  will  take  place  in  June. 

It  is  a  good  idea  to  put  some  kind  of  heading  on  the  news  story  so  a  busy 

120 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

editor  can  see  at  a  glance  what  it  is  about.  To  look  professional,  the  head 
should  space  out  to  the  same  number  of  "characters"  for  each  line.  Each 
letter  and  space  is  a  character  in  the  count.  For  your  purpose  you  needn't 
be  too  accurate  about  it. 

In  the  news  story  just  given  as  an  example,  Low  Place  is,  let  us  say,  in 
the  town  in  which  the  paper  is  published,  so  it  is  not  necessary  to  give  more 
than  the  street  address. 

HOW   MUCH  INFORMATION   IN   THE   ENGAGEMENT  ANNOUNCEMENT?      If     an     en* 

gagement  is  between  very  prominent  people  the  engagement  announcement 
may  carry  all  the  family  information  about  the  couple.  But  usually  the  en* 
gagement  announcement  is  brief  and  the  more  detailed  information,  if  it  is 
considered  newsworthy,  is  carried  by  the  papers  at  the  time  of  the  wedding. 
But  when  it  is  given  with  the  engagement  news  it  is  usually  repeated  when 
the  wedding  is  reported,  so  if  you  think  the  papers  will  use  it  with  either  or 
both  stories,  furnish  it  yourself,  don't  leave  it  to  telephone  reportage. 

THE    RELEASE    DATE 

When  an  engagement  is  of  sufficient  news  importance  to  warrant  straight 
news  and  perhaps  press  association  coverage  to  other  cities,  it  is  best  to 
decide  on  the  date  you  would  like  to  see  it  appear  in  all  your  city's  papers 
simultaneously.  Then  you  furnish  it  to  each  paper  in  written  form  one  day, 
or,  preferably  more  in  advance  with  the  notation  FOR  RELEASE  MON- 
DAY, FEBRUARY  6TH  typed  in  the  upper  left-hand  corner  in  capital 
letters.  To  the  city  editor,  to  whom  such  a  release  should  be  directed,  this 
means  that  you  have  put  the  same  limitation  on  all  other  releases  furnished 
his  rival  papers.  If  in  his  estimation  the  announcement  does  not  merit  regu- 
lar news  coverage,  the  city  editor  will  route  it  through  to  the  society  editor, 
to  whom  such  announcements  are  ordinarily  sent.  Weeklies  need  engage- 
ment and  wedding  announcements  three  or  more  days  before  their  publica- 
tion dates. 

choice  of  the  release  date  Why  so  many  people  send  in  their  wedding 
and  engagement  announcements  for  the  Sunday  papers,  I  don't  know.  That 
is  one  way  to  have  your  cherished  notice  attenuated  and  lost  in  a  sea  of 
other  notices  or  dropped  entirely,  because  of  the  competition  from  announce- 
ments the  editor  may  consider  more  newsworthy  for  one  reason  or  the  other. 
Even  if  your  notice  does  get  into  the  Sunday  paper,  it  is  very  likely  that  your 
friends  will  fail  to  see  it  because  so  many  are  published  that  day.  And  the 
possibility  of  a  picture  being  used  on  Sunday  is  very  slight  indeed— again 
because  of  the  competition.  But  Monday  is  a  slow  news  day.  An  engagement 
announcement  sent  to  an  urban  paper  for  hoped-for  Monday  release  should 
be  so  marked  (FOR  RELEASE  MONDAY,  FEBRUARY  6TH)  so  that  it 
won't  get  into  the  Sunday  paper  by  mistake.  It  should  arrive  at  the  news- 
paper office  sometime  Saturday,  preferably  in  the  morning  before  eleven. 
Wedding  announcements  should  be  timed  to  reach  papers  so  the  news  can 

121 


appear  as  soon  after  the  wedding  as  possible.  It  is  quite  usual  for  early 
editions  of  city  papers  to  publish  details  of  an  important  afternoon  wedding 
before  it  actually  has  taken  place.  It  is  convenient  for  the  paper  to  have  the 
story  all  set  and  ready  to  run  before  the  wedding  occurs.  Wedding  news 
that  arrives  very  late  must  be  very  important  to  make  the  paper. 

identifying  your  releases  If  you  send  news  to  the  paper  or  to  radio  stations, 
always  place  your  name,  address,  and  telephone  number  in  the  upper  right- 
hand  corner  of  the  page.  This  is  so  the  editor  will  know  who  stands  back 
of  the  story  and  to  whom  he  may  turn  for  additional  information,  if  needed. 
Unidentified  stories  are  often  discarded  by  editors,  unless  they  wish  to 
bother  to  check  the  information  by  phone. 

In  a  household  where  there  is  a  social  secretary,  her  name  appears  on 
social  announcements  from  the  family.  Or  the  father  of  the  bride  or  engaged 
girl  can  have  his  own  secretary  prepare  and  send  out  the  information.  She 
can  refer  to  him  or  to  the  girl's  mother  any  requests  for  additional  informa- 
tion. Any  member  of  the  family  or  a  close  friend  may  act  as  spokesman 
with  the  press,  but  the  bride  or  bride-to-be  does  not  send  out  her  own 
notices  under  her  own  name,  even  though  she  may  prepare  them  for  some- 
one else  to  send  for  her.  She  may,  of  course,  answer  questions  from  the 
newspapers  herself,  but  it  is  more  usual  for  editors  to  call  her  parents  for 
added  information,  if  they  are  available  for  comment. 

sending  pictures  If  you  wish,  send  a  picture  of  the  engaged  girl  with  the 
announcement.  The  picture  should  have  a  caption  attached,  not  written  on 
the  back  of  the  picture.  Type  the  information,  "Miss  Cynthia  Ann  Talbott 
whose  engagement  to  Mr.  Asa  G.  Santos  has  been  announced,"  on  a  piece 
of  8"  x  10"  typewriter  paper.  Enclose  picture,  accompanying  release,  and 
protective  cardboard  in  a  mailing  envelope  and  send  "special"  to  papers  of 
your  choice  or,  better,  have  delivered  by  hand  to  either  city  or  society  desk 
as  the  news  seems  to  warrant. 

is  the  man's  picture  furnished?  Wedding  pictures  often  include  the  groom, 
but  pictures  used  with  the  engagement  announcement  usually  do  not  in- 
clude the  fiance.  However,  when  the  principals  are  page-one  news  the  paper 
will  usually  request  a  picture  of  the  fiance  if  it  does  not  have  one  of  him  in 
its  files  or  "morgue."  For  example,  if  an  unknown  college  student  became 
engaged  to  the  daughter  of  one  of  the  wealthiest  men  in  the  country  the 
papers  would  certainly  consider  the  young  man  worth  a  picture  and  might, 
in  fact,  go  to  some  lengths  to  secure  one,  if  it  wasn't  furnished  with  the  an- 
nouncement from  the  family. 

different  pictures  to  competing  papers  Newspapers  prefer,  if  possible, 
to  receive  pictures  that  differ  somewhat  from  those  furnished  to  the  other 
dailies  in  the  same  town  or  city.  When  the  girl  selects  her  pictures  from  the 
proofs,  she  should  keep  this  in  mind  and  try  to  choose  several  poses  instead 
of  having  just  one  printed.  Pictures  for  the  press  should  be  furnished  on 

122 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 

glossy  stock,  8"  x  10"  size  for  easy  filing.  It  is  presumptuous  to  ask  the 
paper  to  return  them  after  use— or  even  if  they  don't  use  them. 

don't  censor  the  press  If  you  are  a  newsworthy  person  it  is  probable  that 
all  leading  newspapers  have  a  file  of  information  on  you  or  your  family.  If 
an  announcement  of  your  marriage  is  going  to  the  papers  and  you  have 
been  married  before,  do  not  omit  that  information,  as  some  paper  is  sure  to 
include  it,  perhaps  to  the  irritation  of  others  that  didn't  check  their  files 
more  carefully.  The  information  does  not  have  to  be  played  up,  but  it  is 
part  of  the  story.  A  fine  or  two  at  the  bottom  of  the  story  can  cover  it:  "This 
is  Mrs.  Morgan's  second  marriage.  Her  first  husband  was  Robert  Henry 
from  whom  she  was  divorced  last  year.  She  had  two  children  by  this  mar- 
riage, Patricia  and  Ogden  Henry." 

The  polite  phrase  "from  whom  she  was  divorced"  is  better  than  "whom 
she  divorced,"  which  sounds  accusative.  Even  if  her  husband  divorced  her, 
the  fact  is  never  stated  in  social  announcements.  Never,  ".  .  .  Robert  Henry 
who  divorced  her  last  year." 


COMPLICATED  RELATIONSHIPS 

If  a  girl  whose  parents  were  divorced  and  whose  mother  has  subsequently 
died  has  been  brought  up  by  her  aunt  and  uncle,  the  announcement  of  her 
engagement  reads  like  this: 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Seth  McClure,  of  7  Fifth  Avenue,  announce  the  engagement 
of  their  niece,  Sally  Guthrie,  to  Mr.  Penn  Snyder,  Jr.,  son  of  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Penn  Snyder,  also  of  this  city  [often  the  fiance's  complete  address  is  omitted 
from  the  engagement  announcement].  Miss  Guthrie  is  the  daughter  of  Mrs. 
McClure's  late  sister,  Mrs.  Broadhurst  Guthrie  and  Mr.  Joseph  Guthrie.  [This 
indicates  that  Sally's  father  was  divorced  from  her  mother  at  the  time  of  her 
mother's  death  and  that  he  has  married  again.  The  phrasing  is  necessary,  for 
to  call  her  the  daughter  of  Mr.  Joseph  Guthrie  and  the  late  Mrs.  Guthrie 
would  be,  in  effect,  to  kill  off  his  second  wife.] 

When  parents  are  divorced  the  mother  makes  the  announcement  but  the 
father  must  be  mentioned  in  the  story.  Let  such  an  announcement  read: 

Mrs.  French  Weeks,  of  1125  Park  Avenue,  announces  the  marriage  of  her 
daughter,  Miss  Pamela  Weeks,  etc.  Miss  Weeks  is  also  the  daughter  of  Mr. 
George  Ranson  Weeks  of  Asheville,  N.C. 

If  this  form  is  used  no  mention  of  the  word  "divorce"  is  necessary,  as  it 
is  clear  the  parents  are  divorced  and  it  is  assumed,  unless  otherwise  noted, 
that  Miss  Weeks  lives  with  her  mother. 

If  one  parent  is  dead,  the  announcement  reads: 

Mr.  James  Muncie  announces  the  engagement  of  his  daughter,  etc.,  etc. 
Miss  Muncie's  late  mother  was  the  former  Geraldine  Pew,  descendant  of 

\23 


General  Custis  Pew,  one-time  business  associate  of  Abraham  Lincoln.  (This 
is  sheer  fabrication,  of  course,  but  it  is  agreeable  to  give  the  mother  some 
identification  of  her  own  in  this  case  as  she  is  obviously  "the  late  Mrs.  James 
Muncie,"  and  some  mention  of  her  must  be  made.  This  is  better  than,  "Mr. 
James  Muncie  and  the  late  Mrs.  Muncie.") 

When  a  woman  has  reached  "a  certain  age"  she  has  the  choice  of  letting 
her  parents  or  some  relative,  such  as  her  brother,  if  her  parents  are  dead, 
announce  her  marriage  or  of  doing  it  in  conjunction  with  the  groom.  Formal 
engagements  between  people,  one  of  whom,  at  least,  has  been  married 
before,  are  rarely  announced.  The  publicized  engagement  period  does  seem 
the  prerogative  of  youth,  along  with  the  bridal  veil  and  orange  blossoms. 
Older  or  divorced  people  usually  forgo  both  in  favor  of  a  simple  announce- 
ment of  their  marriage.  If  a  joint  announcement  is  to  be  made  it  reads: 

Mrs.  Prime  Holden,  of  8  East  10th  Street,  and  Mr.  Rutherford  Tyng,  of 
Princeton,  New  Jersey,  announce  that  their  marriage  took  place  Saturday, 
April  3rd,  at  the  Church  of  the  Ascension,  Baltimore,  Maryland.  Mrs. 
Holden,  the  former  Elsbeth  Finn,  is  the  daughter  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Clarence 
Finn,  of  Baltimore.  Her  marriage  to  Mr.  Harry  Holden,  of  Tulsa,  Oklahoma, 
was  terminated  by  divorce  last  year. 

Mr.  Tyng,  son  of  Professor  and  Mrs.  Rufus  Tyng  of  Princeton,  is  an  in- 
structor in  mathematics  at  Princeton  University,  where  his  father  heads  the 
Physics  Department.  The  couple  will  make  their  home  in  Philadelphia. 

Under  special  circumstances  sometimes  a  bachelor  or  an  older,  unmarried 
woman  adopts  a  daughter  who  may  or  may  not  have  taken  her  adoptive 
parent's  name.  In  such  cases  the  engagement  notice  reads: 

Miss  Wilhelmina  Bosworth  announces  the  engagement  of  her  adopted 
daughter,  Sybil  Frank,  etc. 

Or: 

Dr.  Orrin  Metcalf  announces  the  engagement  of  his  adopted  daughter, 
Florence,  etc. 

When  a  child  has  been  adopted  by  a  couple,  taken  their  name,  and  been 
brought  up  as  one  of  their  own  children  there  is  no  reason  why  the  adoptive 
relationship  need  be  mentioned  in  the  engagement  or  marriage  announce- 
ments, even  if  the  fact  is  generally  known.  But  if  the  child  bears  another 
name  it  is  necessary. 

Occasionally  you  see  an  engagement  announcement  or  a  notice  of  a  mar- 
riage where  some  mention  is  made  of  a  legally  changed  name.  For  example: 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Josef  Greenberg,  of  50  Central  Park  South,  announce  the 
marriage  of  their  daughter  Dorothy  to  Mr.  Robert  Harris,  son  of  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Chaim  Hirsh,  also  of  this  city.  Mr.  Harris  changed  his  name  legally. 

124 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LITE 

This  clears  up  Mr.  Harris's  status  but  is  not,  I  believe,  strictly  necessary 
so  long  as  the  notice  states  that  he  is  the  Hirshes'  son.  Readers  will  assume 
he  changed  his  name,  something  he  has  a  perfect  right  to  do  without  legal 
recourse.  And  if  the  change  did  not  go  through  the  courts,  it  is  certainly  not 
necessary  to  mention  the  name  change  and  the  term  "changed  his  name 
legally"  is  not  used. 


CALLING    EDITORS 

If  a  family  is  well-known  to  society  editors,  the  news  may  be  telephoned  to 
each  one.  But  there  is  the  risk  of  having  one  paper  "scoop"  another  on  the 
news  where  a  regular  society  column  is  featured,  and  details  may  be  ex- 
tracted from  the  person  phoning  during  the  course  of  the  conversation  that 
he  may  not  realize  he's  giving  and  which  may  make  him  squirm  when  he 
sees  them  in  print.  The  simple,  typed,  straightforward  announcement  con- 
taining all  the  facts  and  released  simultaneously  to  all  local  papers  is  the 
safest  way  to  handle  engagement  and  marriage  news.  There  are  society  and 
other  columnists  who  may  embroider  news  in  their  own  fashion.  But  news 
once  freely  given  out  is  beyond  control,  and  one  should  be  able  to  accept 
with  grace  any  interpretation  the  press  may  wish  to  put  on  it,  short  of  down- 
right libel.  To  make  an  issue  over  some  of  the  fatuous  remarks  that  appear 
in  the  gossip  columns  is  often  only  to  blow  something  relatively  innocent 
into  a  cause  cilebve. 

If  it  seems  really  necessary  to  set  one  of  these  scribes  right,  the  offended 
person  should  do  so  in  writing  and  with  great  dignity.  But  before  doing  so, 
he  should  consider  that  most  of  the  incorrect  statements  gossip  columnists 
make  they  never  retract— or  if  they  do  retract,  it  may  be  in  a  manner  that 
may  be  less  pleasant  than  the  original  statement.  For  example,  "Mrs.  Borden 
Ring  tells  me"  (this  makes  them  seem  very  chummy)  "she  didn't  shed  her 
late  husband  in  Reno,  as  stated  here  last  week.  He  died.  But  weren't  you  in 
Reno  at  the  time,  Mrs.  Ring— and  for  the  usual  purpose?" 

if  the  files  are  wbong  One  reason  it  is  a  good  idea  to  furnish  complete  family 
information,  if  it  will  be  of  interest  to  the  papers  and  if  they  are  sure  to  pub- 
lish it  anyway,  is  that  very  probably  there  is  some  incorrect  information  in 
the  newspapers'  morgues.  When  a  person  or  a  family  is  prominent,  clips, 
sometimes  extensive  ones,  are  kept  on  all  his  or  its  published  activities.  If 
one  story  or  item  appears  and  some  information  in  it  is  incorrect,  that  goes 
into  the  file,  too,  perhaps  to  plague  the  family  or  individual  regularly  from 
time  to  time  as  what  he  does  makes  news.  I  was  once  referred  to  as  the  niece 
—or  perhaps  it  was  the  grandniece— of  Mrs.  Cornelius  Vanderbilt,  which  I 
am  not,  but  I  expect  to  see  that  reference  turn  up  from  time  to  time  because 
it  is  in  many  newspaper  morgues. 


1*5 


IF   THE    ENGAGEMENT    IS    BROKEN 

If  notices  of  an  engagement  have  appeared  in  the  newspapers  and  the  en- 
gagement is  subsequently  broken,  additional  notices  are  often  sent,  though 
not  too  hastily.  Lovers  quarrel,  but  they  also  make  up.  The  announcement, 
if  sent,  is  brief  and  to  the  point: 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Richard  Shawe,  of  66  Riverside  Terrace,  announce  that  the 
engagement  of  their  daughter,  Celeste,  to  Mr.  Rertram  Farmer,  has  been 
broken  by  mutual  consent. 

As  engraved  engagement  announcements  are  not  sent  out  it  is  not  neces- 
sary to  retract  the  announcement  to  one's  friends  except  in  the  most  casual 
way— in  conversation,  in  letters,  "by  the  way,  Rert  and  I  broke  our  engage- 
ment recently."  It  is  not  necessary  or  wise  to  go  into  the  reasons  for  a  broken 
engagement  outside  of  the  family  circle. 

how  not  to  announce  or  break  an  engagement  It  is  a  travesty  on  mar- 
riage when  young  people,  often  under  pressure  from  press  agents,  "an- 
nounce" their  engagements  or  the  breaking  of  them  in  night  clubs  or  res- 
taurants. Such  announcements  should  come  from  the  girl's  parents  through 
formal  notice  in  the  press  if  the  families  are  of  sufficient  interest  to  warrant 
publication  of  the  news.  Of  course,  an  engagement  may  be  announced  at 
a  party,  possibly  in  a  restaurant— but  not  in  a  night  club.  If  an  engagement 
party  of  some  kind  is  given— a  luncheon,  tea,  or  dinner— it  is  more  usual  for 
it  to  be  given  at  the  bride-to-be's  home  and  it  is  limited  to  the  immediate 
families  and  very  close  friends. 

SO-CALLED    "ENGAGEMENTS" 

It  would  seem  axiomatic  that  you  can't  be  engaged  while  still  married  to 
someone  else.  It  is  improper  to  announce  an  engagement  while  either  mem- 
ber of  the  future  union  is  still  in  the  throes  of  divorce,  Hollywood  and  cafe 
society  dispatches  notwithstanding.  And  for  a  woman  to  wear  or  even  accept 
a  man's  engagement  ring,  even  without  announcement  of  an  engagement, 
while  her  divorce  from  his  predecessor  is  still  pending  is  the  height  of  bad 
taste. 

BEHAVIOR   DURING    ENGAGEMENTS 

If  young  people  didn't  want  to  make  love  most  of  the  time  during  the 
period  of  their  engagement  it  wouldn't  seem  normal.  Everyone  around  them 
is  conscious  of  how  they  feel  and,  up  to  a  certain  point,  touched  by  their 
ecstasy.  Rut  if  this  joy  becomes  too  tactile,  onlookers  are  visibly  embarrassed. 
Good  manners  always  dictate  that  men  and  women  be  restrained  about 
public  demonstrations  of  their  physical  feeling  toward  one  another. 

For  engaged  people  of  all  ages,  society  expects  chaperonage  of  a  kind. 

126 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

They  may,  of  course,  spend  long  days  and  evenings  together  alone,  but  they 
may  not  go  off  for  a  week  end  or  overnight  unless  adequately  chaperoned. 
The  company  of  another  unmarried  couple  does  not  fill  the  requirement, 
but  a  married  couple  even  somewhat  younger  than  themselves  vs  acceptable. 
So  is  a  parent,  guardian,  or  an  older  close  relative  of  either  sex— such  as  an 
aunt,  uncle,  grandmother,  or  grandfather— or  any  mature  woman,  married, 
single,  widowed,  or  divorced. 

If  circumstances  require  it,  an  engaged  couple  may  travel  in  a  public 
conveyance  overnight  or  even  longer  to  get  to  some  destination  where  chap- 
eronage  will  be  provided.  But  of  course  their  accommodations  are  not  in 
close  proximity,  such  as  an  upper  and  lower  berth  or  adjoining  staterooms, 
and  their  behavior  must  be  so  restrained  that  they  will  be  quite  unremark- 
able to  other  travelers. 

If  these  rules  seem  hard  and  conventional  to  modern  young  people  they 
should  remind  themselves  that  the  engagement  is  a  trial  flight  which  can 
easily  end  in  a  crash  landing.  It  is  best  to  follow  the  rules,  for  few  young, 
love-bewitched  people  are  invulnerable  enough  to  bring  down  social  criti- 
cism without  harm  to  their  relationship. 


I 


CHAPTER    SIXTEEN 

FUNERALS 


It  is  not  strange  that  when  man  faces  the  mystery  of  death  he  turns  to 
religion  for  comfort  and  help.  There  are  many  civil  marriages,  but  it  is  almost 
unheard  of  for  us  to  bury  the  dead  without  at  least  a  prayer.  However  un- 
rooted we  may  be  in  our  religious  beliefs,  the  time  of  death  turns  us  to  the 
formalities  of  religion,  to  the  clergyman,  the  priest,  or  the  rabbi  to  perform 
the  final,  dignified  rites. 

The  family's  responsibility  when  death  occurs  is  partly  religious,  partly 
social,  partly  legal. 

IMMEDIATE    PROCEDURES    WHEN    DEATH    OCCURS 

Every  family  should  have  an  "emergency"  file  in  its  strongbox.  In  this  file 
should  be  listed  the  name  of  a  funeral  director  to  be  called  when  the  need 
occurs.  If  the  family  owns  a  burial  plot  or  a  mausoleum,  the  deed  should  be 
in  the  file,  as  it  will  be  required  by  the  funeral  director.  If  one  or  more 
members  of  the  family  prefer  cremation,  a  note  to  that  effect  should  be  in 

127 


the  file,  even  if  the  requesr  has  Deen  placed  in  the  will.  A  copy  of  each  birth 
certificate  should  also  be  in  the  folder  (the  Board  of  Health  supplies  photo- 
static or  certified  copies  for  family  records  at  a  small  cost).  Also  included 
should  be  the  names  and  addresses  of  all  close  relatives  and  friends  who 
should  be  informed. 

If  these  things  are  kept  all  together,  whoever  is  placed  in  charge  of  the 
funeral— often  a  relative  or  friend— will  be  able  to  handle  the  many  details. 
Without  the  birth  certificate,  for  example,  he  would  have  difficulty  in  sup- 
plying the  necessary  information  for  the  death  certificate. 

It  is  also  important  that  a  list  of  all  bank  accounts,  social  security  num- 
bers, bonds,  notes,  and  mortgages  of  the  various  members  of  the  family  be 
listed,  together  with  a  notation  on  the  whereabouts  of  safe  deposit  boxes, 
insurance  policies,  and  wills.  Many  a  friend  or  relative  put  in  charge  of  ? 
funeral  has  been  in  considerable  doubt  as  to  how  much  expense  he  should 
incur  for  the  estate. 

The  name  and  address  of  the  attorney  or  attorneys  drawing  the  will  or 
wills  should  be  on  file,  and  the  person  in  charge  of  the  funeral  should  notify 
the  lawyer  before  the  funeral  takes  place. 

When  death  occurs  and  a  doctor  has  not  been  in  attendance,  or  when  the 
person's  religious  beliefs  preclude  medical  care,  the  county  medical  exam- 
iner—in some  states  the  coronor— must  be  called  to  determine  the  cause  of 
death  and  issue  and  sign  the  death  certificate.  This  notification  properly 
takes  place  before  the  calling  of  the  mortician,  who  may  not  act  without  the 
medical  examiner's  permission. 

ARRANGING   THE    FUNERAL 

Whoever  is  chosen  to  make  funeral  arrangements  should  not  be,  if  possible, 
any  of  the  most  bereaved.  Our  attitude  toward  funerals  has  changed  very 
much  for  the  better,  and  we  now  readily  accept  the  fact  that  an  elaborate 
funeral  whose  cost  will  leave  the  family  in  serious  debt  does  shallow  honor 
to  the  deceased.  But  a  frightened  young  widow,  unable  to  see  ahead  and 
perhaps  ill-informed  on  her  late  husband's  finances,  can't  be  expected  to 
make  objective  decisions  concerning  the  various  costs  of  the  funeral. 

For  a  long  time  the  trend  has  been  toward  simple  funerals,  even  among 
people  who  can  afford  elaborate  ones.  No  one  but  the  funeral  director  knows 
or  cares  about  the  fine  details  of  caskets  and  their  relative  expensiveness  or 
inexpensiveness.  In  fact,  many  people  of  sensibility  shudder  at  the  pre- 
tentious ugliness  of  expensive  caskets,  remembering  that  great  heroes  are 
often  buried  in  simple,  clean-lined  pine  boxes. 

Whoever  undertakes  the  responsibility  of  the  funeral  should  realize  that 
he  or  she  is  entering  into  a  business  contract— and  under  highly  emotional 
circumstances— where  those  most  involved  may  be  of  little  help  in  making 
important  decisions.  Where  expense  must  be  regarded,  he  should  discuss 
the  necessity  with  the  mortician  and  make  as  many  decisions  as  possible 
himself.  It  is  sometimes  months  before  funds  can  be  released  for  payment 

128 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

of  bills  he  will  incur,  and  in  complicated  cases  it  is  sometimes  necessary  to 
get  the  court's  permission  to  pay  them.  Therefore,  all  these  matters  must  be 
handled  with  great  care  and  conservatism. 

If  the  deceased  or  his  family  has  had  some  continuing  religious  affiliation, 
there  is  no  problem  concerning  the  choice  of  a  clergyman  to  officiate.  Other- 
wise a  clergyman  of  any  faith  may,  with  the  family's  permission,  be  asked 
to  read  a  burial  service.  When  the  funeral  takes  place  in  a  city  and  the 
interment  is  in  a  family  plot  at  considerable  distance,  one  or  more  members 
of  the  family  or  its  representatives  go  with  the  body  to  the  place  of  burial 
and  a  local  funeral  director  must  usually  be  retained  to  handle  the  inter- 
ment. He  asks  a  local  clergyman  to  conduct  the  brief  service  at  the  grave. 
A  local  florist  may  supply  one  or  more  fresh  floral  offerings. 


CLOTHING    FOR    THE    BURIAL 

Among  many  people,  and  especially  among  Orthodox,  Conservative,  and 
some  Reform  Jews,  the  shroud  is  still  used  for  burial.  Otherwise,  the 
person  in  charge  of  the  funeral  delivers  to  the  funeral  director  the  kind  of 
clothing  the  deceased  would  have  worn  to  church,  choosing  for  older 
women  soft  materials  in  solid,  quiet  tones  of  lavender,  blue,  beige,  gray,  or 
taupe,  with  long  sleeves  and  a  high  neckline.  Evening  dresses  are  unsuitable, 
and  black  is  rarely  used.  Young  girls  are  often  dressed  in  white.  Children 
are  dressed  as  for  Sunday  school. 

Clothes  furnished  for  men  should  be,  too,  the  kind  they  would  have  worn 
to  church,  usually  something  from  their  existing  wardrobe.  A  cutaway  is 
suitable,  or  a  dark  blue  or  dark  gray  or  Oxford  suit.  Evening  clothes  are  not 
suitable,  nor  are  sports  suits,  although  in  the  summer  a  white  linen  or  any 
light  tropical  weave  suit  may  be  used. 

People  are  no  longer  buried  with  their  jewels,  although  many  are  with 
their  wedding  rings.  Directions  concerning  rings  or  earrings  (in  pierced 
ears)  are  expected  by  the  funeral  director. 


HANGING    THE    BELL 

The  custom  of  hanging  the  bell  goes  back  to  the  days  when  doorbells  were 
bells  with  clappers  hung  on  or  adjacent  to  the  door.  When  someone  died, 
the  clapper  was  muffled  in  cloth.  This  later  developed  into  ribbon  streamers 
in  white,  purple  or  black,  with  white  or  purple  flowers.  Like  mourning,  the 
bell  hanging  was  for  the  protection  of  the  bereaved,  so  that  anyone  ap- 
proaching the  house  would  do  so  with  quiet  dignity. 

Today,  few  hang  the  bell.  And  it  is  never  done  except  when  the  funeral 
is  to  take  place  in  the  home.  When  a  family  still  wishes  to  adhere  to  the 
old  custom  it  so  instructs  the  funeral  director,  who  orders  the  flowers  and 
has  them  hung  just  below  the  doorbell  of  either  apartment  or  private  house. 

129 


WHERE    THE    FUNERAL    TAKES    PLACE 

The  telescoping  of  our  living  quarters  has  brought  into  existence  more  and 
more  "Funeral  Homes"— some  simple  and  functional  like  the  old-fashioned 
funeral  parlors,  where  a  funeral  was  held  only  if  there  was  no  suitable  home 
from  which  it  could  take  place,  others  elaborate  establishments  with  their 
own  private  chapels  and  pipe  organs.  Today  it  is  very  usual  indeed  for  a 
funeral  to  take  place  in  a  mortuary  chapel  even  when  home  facilities  are 
quite  adequate  to  accommodate  a  large  attendance  at  the  services. 

The  use  of  the  funeral  home  is  usually  included  in  the  over-all  cost  of  the 
funeral,  with  the  occasional  exception  of  a  charge  for  music. 

If  the  funeral  takes  place  at  home,  the  largest  room  is  usually  selected,  one 
preferably  which  can  be  shut  off  from  the  rest  of  the  household.  Folding 
chairs  are  provided  by  the  mortician. 

DEATH    NOTICES 

The  person  in  charge  of  the  funeral  prepares  the  death  notices,  which  are 
then  inserted,  often  by  the  mortician,  in  one  or  more  morning  papers,  in 
large  cities,  and,  if  thought  advisable,  in  any  evening  papers  that  carry  these 
notices.  If  the  death  takes  place  in  a  suburb  the  notices  are  carried  by  the 
nearest  large  dailies  likely  to  be  read  by  friends  of  the  deceased.  These 
notices  are  placed  at  regular  space  rates,  and  when  it  is  desired  that  friends 
in  distant  cities  be  notified  publicly  the  line  is  often  added  "Chicago  (or 
Houston)  papers  please  copy."  Such  out-of-town  papers  then  may  run  a 
news  item  on  the  death. 

When  the  person  who  died  has  been  very  well-known  socially  or  other- 
wise it  is  probable  that  major  papers  in  his  city  already  have  a  prepared 
obituary  on  file  which  may  need  merely  to  be  brought  up  to  date  through 
telephone  checking  with  a  member  of  the  family.  Each  paper  has  an  editor 
in  charge  of  this  kind  of  news,  and  the  placing  of  the  obituary  notice  is  his 
cue  to  get  the  facts  from  a  family  representative,  if  the  paper  considers  the 
death  generally  newsworthy. 

As  in  the  case  of  weddings  and  engagements  sure  to  be  considered  news, 
it  is  wise  for  someone  familiar  with  the  details  of  the  deceased's  important 
activities  to  prepare  that  information  in  written  form  as  soon  as  possible,  as 
such  news  runs  the  day  of  the  death  or,  at  the  latest,  the  day  the  obituary 
notice  first  appears.  Although  the  information  is  usually  called  for  over  the 
phone,  it  is  certainly  better  to  have  it  written  out  for  ready  reference,  as  in 
many  cases  all  papers  call,  as  well  as  the  wire  services.  Additional  stories, 
when  a  person  has  been  prominent,  often  run  on  the  actual  day  of  the 
funeral. 

A  paid  death  notice  may  be  phoned  to  papers  selected,  but  it  should 
always  be  read  from  carefully  checked  information.  Where  it  is  given  over 
the  phone  the  newspaper's  classified  department  usually  calls  back  for  re- 
check,  to  be  certain  the  notice  is  legitimate.  The  form  is : 

130 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF  LIFE 

Volkman— Lawrence  Karl,  on  November  23  (year  optional),  husband  (or 
beloved  husband)  of  Helen  Schroeder  Volkman  (his  wife's  maiden  name  is 
always  given  to  aid  identification)  and  father  of  Louise  and  Peter  Schroeder 
Volkman  (the  daughters  are  listed  first).  Funeral  at  (name  of  church  and 
address,  if  necessary),  at  2  p.m.,  Tuesday. 

Sometimes,  especially  when  there  was  no  generally  known  preliminary 
illness,  the  word  "suddenly"  may  be  added  after  the  names  of  the  immediate 
family.  If  a  man  was  married  his  wife  is  always  listed  first,  not  his  parents, 
whose  names,  in  this  case,  usually  do  not  appear  in  the  paid  notice  but  who 
are  mentioned,  of  course,  in  news  stories,  if  any. 

A  woman's  death  notice  reads: 

Jardine— Diana  Minor  (her  maiden  name),  wife  (or  beloved  wife)  of,  etc. 

If  the  funeral  is  to  take  place  out  of  town,  friends  are  so  notified  in  the  death 
notice  "Funeral  at  Emmanuel  Church,  Rye,  New  York.  Train  leaves  Grand 
Central  at  1  p.m." 

The  age  is  usually  not  given  in  the  death  notice,  except  in  the  case  of  a 
child.  It  is  often  mentioned  in  accompanying  news  stories. 


ATTENDING    A    FUNERAL 

Unless  the  words  "Funeral  Private"  appear  in  the  death  notice,  any  friend 
or  acquaintance  of  the  deceased  or  his  family  may  attend  the  services,  as  do 
interested  strangers  if  the  funeral  is  in  church.  Close  friends  or  relatives  may 
ask  the  person  in  charge  of  arrangements  for  permission  to  attend  the  inter- 
ment if  they  are  able  to  provide  their  own  transportation  or  if  there  seems 
to  be  adequate  room  in  the  funeral  cars.  They  should  be  very  certain  that 
their  presence  at  so  difficult  a  time  will  be  of  real  comfort  to  the  immediate 
family,  which  usually  prefers  to  be  alone  with  the  clergyman  at  the  last 
brief  rites. 


SENDING    FLOWERS 

Sometimes  the  death  notice  reads  "Please  omit  flowers,"  and  this  request 
should  be  scrupulously  respected.  At  some  Protestant  funerals  the  family 
prefers  that  the  casket  have  one  floral  offering,  that  of  the  family.  They 
sometimes  request  privately  or  in  the  death  notice  that  flowers  be  sent  tc» 
hospitals  and,  of  course,  this  is  thoughtful  whenever  a  notice  reads  "Please 
omit  flowers."  Flowers  then  may  be  sent  to  hospital  wards  "In  memory  of— 
from—"  and  the  family  may  be  so  notified  by  note  or  when  the  funeral  call 
is  made. 

It  is  important,  however,  to  know  that  one  never  sends  flowers  to  an  Ortho- 
dox Jewish  funeral.  Often  they  are  not  desired  at  a  Conservative  or  a 
Reform  funeral.  And  it  is  preferable  not  to  send  them  to  a  Catholic  funeral, 

131 


as  they  may  not  be  taken  into  the  church  (only  the  family's  one  spray  and 
occasionally  an  altar  arrangement  are  permitted). 

When  flowers  are  sent  to  a  funeral  a  plain  white  card  is  attached  with 
the  name  of  the  sender,  "Helen  Murray"  or  "Mr.  and  Mrs.  Frederick  Wal- 
lace," or  a  visiting  card  (a  husband-and-wife  card)  may  be  used  with  a 
line  drawn  tnrough  the  names  in  the  case  of  intimate  friends  and  the  mes- 
sage, "Deepest  sympathy  from  Jean  and  Hugh,"  written  in  ink.  The  envelope 
is  simply  addressed  to: 

The  funeral  of  Mr.  Lawrence  Karl  Volkman 

Silvan  Funeral  Home 

Greenpoint 

Where  the  funeral  is  to  take  place  in  church  but  the  body  is  at  a  funeral 
home,  friends  may  choose  to  send  flowers  immediately  on  hearing  of  the 
death,  and  to  the  funeral  home,  if  calls  are  being  received  there,  or  to  the 
church  in  time  for  the  funeral.  In  the  latter  case  the  flowers  are  addressed  to: 

The  funeral  of  Mr.  Lawrence  Karl  Volkman 

Emmanuel  Church 

Rye,  New  York 

Funeral  2  p.m.,  Tuesday 

flowers  after  the  funeral  It  is  a  growing  custom  for  close  friends  to  send 
flowers  to  the  family  of  the  deceased  sometime  during  the  weeks  following 
the  funeral  (except  to  Orthodox  Jews).  They  should  be  addressed  to  the 
hostess  and  the  accompanying  card  should  avoid  reference  to  the  bereave- 
ment. Instead  it  may  read:  "Kindest  thoughts  from  us  all,  Peggy  and  John." 


MASS    CARDS 

Most  Catholics  prefer  mass  cards  to  flowers.  When  a  Catholic  dies  his 
friends  and  relatives,  Catholic  and  non-Catholic,  go  to  a  priest  and  arrange 
for  a  mass  to  be  said  for  the  soul.  The  priest  accepts  an  offering  for  the 
mass  and  presents  a  card  to  the  donor  stating  that  a  mass  is  to  be  said  for 
the  repose  of  the  soul  of  the  deceased,  its  method  of  celebration— High  or 
Low— and  sometimes  indicating  the  exact  time  of  the  mass.  The  card  is 
given  or  sent  by  the  donor  to  the  family  of  the  deceased,  usually  before  the 
funeral.  These  masses  may  be  arranged,  too,  for  a  year  after  the  death  on 
its  anniversary  or  at  any  time  immediately  after  the  death  has  taken  place. 


FUNERAL   CALLS 

Now  that  the  mortuary  chapel  has  so  much  replaced  the  home  in  the  laying 
out  of  the  dead,  people  are  often  confused  as  to  where  they  are  expected  to 

132 


PART    ONE      THE   CEREMONIES   OF  LIFE 


make  their  funeral  calls.  If  they  are  close  friends  or  relatives  they  may  call 
both  at  home  and  at  the  chapel  if  they  wish,  leaving  their  cards  or  signing 
the  register  at  the  funeral  chapel.  If  calls  are  received  at  the  funeral  chapel 
some  family  representative  should  be  present  at  least  during  the  afternoon 
and  early  evening,  when  calls  are  likely  to  be  made. 


THE    FUNERAL    SERVICE 

It  is  a  matter  of  family  choice  whether  a  casket  is  left  open  or  closed  before 
the  funeral.  At  State  funerals  the  open  casket  is  optional,  but  it  is  always 
closed  during  Service  for  Episcopalians  and  Jews.  At  Catholic  services,  which 
must  take  place  in  church,  the  casket  is  open  only  for  the  clergy  and 
occasionally  for  a  high-ranking  layman. 

pallbearers  Among  Christians  pallbearers  are  always  men,  and,  today, 
merely  honorary  in  that  they  seldom  actually  carry  the  casket  and  serve 
only  at  large  funerals  of  distinguished  men.  There  are  never  less  than  four 
and  rarely  more  than  ten  chosen  for  this  honor  from  among  those  personally 
and  professionally  close  to  the  deceased.  Jews  have  pallbearers  for  both 
men  and  women. 

The  pallbearers  are  usually  chosen  by  the  person  in  charge  of  funeral 
arrangements,  after  he  has  received  suggestions  from  various  members  of 
the  family.  The  family  itself  should  be  represented  among  the  pallbearers, 
and  the  other  men  chosen  must  accept  the  honor  unless  there  is  some  very 
valid  reason  for  refusing,  such  as  illness. 

Sometimes  the  casket  is  already  in  place  before  the  altar  and  the  floral 
offerings  are  arranged  on  and  around  it  by  the  time  the  congregation  gathers. 
In  this  case,  just  before  the  start  of  the  service,  the  family  may  file  in  from 
the  vestry  and  into  the  front  pew,  usually  to  the  right  of  the  center  aisle, 
or,  more  usually,  may  enter  from  the  front  of  the  church  just  before  the 
start  of  the  service.  The  honorary  pallbearers  sit  in  the  front  pews  to  the 
family's  left.  At  the  end  of  the  service  after  the  family  has  retired  to  the 
vestry,  the  pallbearers,  walking  two  by  two,  are  first  to  leave  the  church, 
marching  slowly  in  front  of  the  casket  if  it  is  to  be  carried  from  the  church 
at  that  time,  or  marching  out  slowly  alone  and  into  the  waiting  cars  that 
carry  them  with  the  family  to  the  cemetery. 

If  the  casket  is  carried  into  the  church  the  pallbearers  precede  it,  march- 
ing slowly,  two  by  two,  and  stepping  into  the  left-hand  first  pews  as  they 
reach  the  front  of  the  church. 

Pallbearers  who  have  come  from  out  of  town  and  who  may  not  be  able 
to  make  their  funeral  calls  upon  the  family  before  leaving  often  call  briefly 
at  the  vestry,  before  or  after  the  service,  to  pay  their  respects. 

ushers  and  seating  ARRANGEMENTS  While  the  mortician  has  men  in  attendance 
at  every  funeral  who  may  act  as  ushers,  and  the  sexton  in  a  large  church 
has  a  staff  for  the  purpose,  it  is  preferable  that  men  relatives  likely  to  know 

133 


many  of  those  attending  the  funeral  act  in  this  capacity.  In  church,  like 
wedding  ushers,  they  escort  those  attending  the  service  to  their  seats  but  do 
not  offer  their  arms,  except  to  the  old  or  infirm.  They  do  their  best  to  place 
relatives  and  close  friends  toward  the  front  of  the  church,  keeping  the  front 
left-hand  pews  free  for  the  pallbearers  or,  if  there  are  no  pallbearers,  for 
themselves.  When  there  are  no  pallbearers  the  ushers  precede  the  casket  in 
the  same  manner  as  the  pallbearers,  or  march  up  the  aisle,  two  by  two,  just 
before  the  service  is  to  start.  They  march  down  the  aisle  at  the  end  of  the 
service  ahead  of  the  casket,  if  it  is  carried  out,  before  the  rest  of  the  con- 
gregation leaves  the  pews. 

At  Roman  Catholic  funerals  the  family  does  not  enter  from  the  vestry 
but  follows  up  the  aisle  in  the  order  of  relationship  to  the  dead  when  the 
casket  is  carried  into  the  church,  preceded  by  altar  boys,  priest,  casket,  and 
pallbearers.  After  the  service  they  file  out  the  same  way  behind  the  casket. 

Funerals  are  not  encouraged  in  Orthodox  synagogues.  They  take  place 
only  when  a  rabbi  or  some  other  dignitary  dies.  Therefore,  Orthodox 
Jewish  funerals  are  usually  held  in  mortuary  chapels  or  at  home,  with  the 
men  and  women  assembling  side  by  side,  the  men  with  covered  heads. 


INTERMENT    AND    GRAVE    MARKING 

The  minister,  rabbi,  or  priest  goes  along  with  the  family  and  pallbearers, 
if  any,  to  conduct  the  brief  graveside  service. 

A  grave  is  marked  with  the  name  of  the  deceased  and  the  date  of  his 
birth  and  death  and,  frequently,  his  family  relationship,  "beloved  father  of," 
"beloved  son  of."  Sometimes  a  line  or  two  of  epitaph  is  added.  The  foot- 
stone  or  monument  bearing  this  information  is  ordered  by  the  family  from 
a  monument  maker  shortly  after  the  funeral  at  minimum  cost,  but,  of  course, 
elaborate  monuments  with  sculptures  can  run  into  thousands  of  dollars.  The 
monument  maker  installs  the  monument  or  marker  at  no  additional  fee.  If 
no  monument  or  footstone  is  to  be  erected,  the  funeral  director,  if  instructed, 
can  place  on  the  grave  at  time  of  interment  a  simple  bronze  plaque  costing 
considerably  less  than  a  footstone  and  bearing  the  essential  data. 

Most  cemeteries  provide  perpetual  care  of  graves  as  part  of  the  purchase 
price,  but  families  usually  visit  and  tend  their  plots  from  time  to  time, 
especially  among  Christians  on  Memorial  Day,  Easter,  and  Christmas,  and 
arrange  for  special  care  of  plantings. 


FEES  TO  CLERGYMAN,  SEXTON,  AND  ORGANIST 

It  is  usual  for  the  minister  to  be  given  a  fee  for  his  services.  Sometimes  an 
appropriate  amount  is  sent  to  him  by  the  funeral  director,  who  includes  this 
expense  on  his  bill.  More  often  it  is  sent  by  a  member  of  the  family  in  a 
letter  of  appreciation  for  his  comfort  and  help. 

The  amount  should  be  based  on  the  family's  ability  to  make  a  contribu- 

134 


PART    ONE      THE   CEREMONIES   OF   LIFE 

tion.  Simplicity  of  the  funeral  is  today  no  indication  of  lack  of  funds.  And 
certainly  if  the  funeral  has  been  large  and  expensive  the  officiating  clergy- 
man should  not  receive  less  than  seventy -five  to  one  hundred  dollars.  For 
the  average  funeral  he  usually  receives  from  five  to  twenty-five  dollars. 
When  checks  are  sent  they  are  made  out  to  the  clergyman  rather  than  to 
the  church,  as  these  fees  are  expected  to  contribute  to  his  own  expenses. 

The  sexton  in  a  large  church  is  on  the  church  payroll  and  devotes  full 
time  to  church  business  affairs.  He  receives  up  to  twenty-five  dollars  for 
opening  a  big  church  and  overseeing  the  work  of  his  assistants  at  a  large 
funeral.  In  a  small  church  this  office,  if  it  exists,  is  voluntary,  but  the  sexton 
usually  is  sent  a  fee,  which,  if  his  own  circumstances  permit,  he  may  con- 
tribute to  the  church.  The  organist  receives  a  similar  amount. 


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

If  the  funeral  takes  place  at  home,  some  member  of  the  family  makes  a 
careful  note  of  the  flower  offerings  as  they  arrive,  removing  the  cards  and 
recording,  either  on  the  back  of  each  or  in  a  notebook,  a  description  of  the 
flowers,  "yellow  roses"  rather  than  "roses"  or  "dark  red  carnations"  rather 
than  "sheaf."  The  flowers  of  those  nearest  and  dearest  should  be  placed 
close  to  and  on  the  casket,  even  when  those  from  civic  organizations  or 
others  are  more  impressive. 

When  the  funeral  takes  place  at  a  funeral  home  the  funeral  director's 
staff  collects  the  cards  and  makes  the  necessary  notations  for  the  family.  At 
a  church  funeral  some  member  of  the  family  arrives  in  time  to  place  the 
flowers  and  remove  the  cards  when  the  coffin  is  to  be  in  place  before  the 
start  of  the  service. 

Flowers,  donations  to  charity  in  memoriam,  and  mass  cards  should  be 
acknowledged  within  a  reasonable  length  of  time.  Morticians  usually  supply 
as  part  of  their  service  printed  acknowledgment  cards  to  be  sent  out  by 
the  family.  These  should  not  be  used  instead  of  a  handwritten  note,  how- 
ever brief,  although  the  use  of  engraved  cards  for  large  public  funerals, 
where  thousands  of  letters  and  floral  offerings  are  received,  is  quite  under- 
standable. Mrs.  Roosevelt  found  it  necessary  to  use  them  after  the  death  of 
the  President. 

The  note  acknowledging  flowers,  a  mass  card,  charity  contributions,  or 
a  telegram  need  not  be  more  than  a  few  words,  such  as: 

Dear  Mr.  Scott, 

You  were  kind  indeed  to  think  of  us  at  such  a  difficult  time.  Your  violets 
were  beautiful  and  comforting. 

Sincerely, 

Helen  Volkman 


135 


BETTERS  OF  CONDOLENCE  AND  REPLIES 

Social  letters  of  condolence,  always  handwritten,  need  not  be  long.  In  fact, 
"Deepest  sympathy"  may  be  written  on  your  visiting  card.  But  they  must  be 
sent  very  promptly.  Telegrams  are  often  sent  and  follow  the  usual  tele- 
graphic form: 

DEEPLY  SHOCKED  AT  YOUR  SAD  LOSS.  ALL  OUR  SYMPATHY.  LOVE. 

HELEN  AND  TOM 

You  address  your  letter  to  the  widow  of  the  deceased,  otherwise  to  the 
parents  or  a  sister  or  brother  of  the  person  who  has  died— always  addressing 
the  nearest  relative,  whether  or  not  you  are  acquainted. 

To  the  mother  of  a  friend  you  might  write: 
Dear  Mrs.  Volkman, 

It  is  several  years  since  I  have  seen  Larry,  but  it  was  with  a  real  sense  of 
loss  that  I  heard  the  news.  We  were  very  close  at  college,  as  he  may  have 
told  you,  and  have  always  kept  in  touch  with  one  another  even  though  we 
lived  at  such  a  distance. 

I  hope  when  I  am  in  New  York  again  that  I  may  call  upon  you  and,  if 
possible,  be  of  some  service. 

Most  sincerely, 
Gregory  Burns 

It  is  better  to  avoid  the  words  "died,"  "death,"  and  "killed"  in  such  letters. 
It  is  quite  possible  to  write  the  kind  of  letter  that  will  give  a  moment  of 
courage  and  a  strong  feeling  of  sympathy  without  mentioning  death  or 
sadness  at  all.  For  instance: 
Dear  Jeanette, 

For  me  Gale  will  remain  the  happy,  dancing  child  I  saw  for  the  first  time 
on  her  fifth  birthday.  She  will  always  be  with  us  in  spirit. 

Lovingly, 
Mary 

If  you  are  writing  a  letter  of  condolence  from  a  business  office  to  some- 
one related  to  a  person  you  have  known  mainly  in  business  the  letter  may 
be  dictated  and  typed. 

In  replies  to  letters  of  condolence  one  may  write  at  any  length  one  wishes, 
but  it  is  quite  understandable  that  the  note  be  brief,  even  to  a  close  friend. 
Today  it  is  usually  on  plain  white  rather  than  on  black-bordered  paper. 
Mourning  paper  is  much  less  used  now  and  quite  unnecessary. 

MOURNING 

Visible  signs  of  mourning— the  widow's  bonnet,  the  black  clothes  even  for 
little  children— are,  I  think  happily,  rarely  seen  these  days.  We  all  mourn 
the  deaths  of  those  we  love,  but  the  healthful  thing  is  to  accept  the  loss 
as  well  as  we  can  and  gradually  make  our  adjustment  to  the  life  we  must 
live  without  this  beloved  person. 

Black  has  lost  much  of  its  meaning  as  the  badge  of  bereavement  ever 

136 


PART    ONE      THE  CEREMONIES  OF   LIFE 

since,  in  World  War  I,  Chanel  decreed  that  all  fashionable  women  should 
mourn  with  her  for  her  own  war-loss  when  she  launched  the  "little  black 
dress,"  which  has  since  become  an  essential  of  the  wardrobe.  Prior  to  that 
women  seldom,  if  ever,  wore  black  except  for  mourning. 

Black  dresses  from  the  regular  wardrobe  and  in  a  dull  material  are  usu- 
ally worn  by  women  members  of  the  family  at  a  funeral.  Children  wear  Sun- 
day-school clothes  in  quiet  colors  or  white.  Someone  usually  divests  dresses 
to  be  worn  at  funerals  of  any  bright-colored  ornaments,  but  they  may  be 
trimmed  with  white.  Pearls  may  be  worn  and  any  functional  pin  of  silver  or, 
possibly,  dull  gold  or  an  heirloom  piece  of  jet.  Simple  pearl  button  earrings 
are  acceptable,  but  any  costume  jewelry,  diamond  rings,  bracelets,  or  anklets 
should  be  dispensed  with,  at  least  for  the  period  before  and  during  the 
funeral,  in  deference  to  conservative  feelings  in  these  matters. 

The  black  chiffon  veil  is  often  worn  by  the  bereaved  women  at  a  funeral. 
Stockings  worn  with  black  dresses  at  funerals  are  usually  gun-metal  or 
black,  but  dark,  neutral  tones  are  worn,  too,  if  the  mourner  does  not  plan 
to  go  into  conventional  mourning.  Ordinary  street  clothes  such  as  one  would 
wear  to  church  are  acceptable  for  others  attending  a  funeral. 

Men  of  the  family  wear  cutaways  for  a  large  church  funeral  or  dark 
business  suits  in  navy  or  Oxford,  with  black  shoes  and  socks,  black  or  gray 
ties  and  white  shirts.  (See  "Men's  Clothes.")  Boys  wear  dark  blue  or  gray 
suits,  white  shirts,  dark  blue  or  gray  four-in-hands. 

the  traditional  idea  of  mourning  Essentially,  the  wearing  of  mourning 
(not  necessarily  black— it  is  white  in  the  tropics)  was  to  give  protection  to 
the  family  as  well  as  to  honor  the  dead.  In  great  families  even  the  retainers 
were  often  put  in  some  degree  of  mourning,  and  social  activities  even  for 
tiny  children  were  rigidly  circumscribed  for  as  much  as  two  years.  It  was 
frequent  for  the  older  women  in  the  family,  especially  elderly  widows,  to 
remain  in  mourning,  more  or  less,  for  the  rest  of  their  lives. 

We  are  getting  away  from  the  harsh  idea  that  a  strong  will  to  live  happily 
in  spite  of  personal  loss  is  sinful  and  disrespectful  to  the  dead.  We  are 
developing  a  more  positive  social  attitude  toward  others,  who  might  find 
it  difficult  to  function  well  in  the  constant  company  of  an  outwardly  mourn- 
ing person.  In  time  of  war  it  is  often  advised  by  governments  that  the  put- 
ting on  of  mourning  by  war-bereaved  families  is  an  aid  and  comfort  to  the 
enemy  and  a  decided  detriment  to  home  morale. 

Another  reason,  I  believe,  for  the  little  use  of  mourning  today  is  the 
rapid  spread  of  news.  When  death  does  occur  everyone  concerned  is  quickly 
informed  by  telephone,  telegraph,  and  the  daily  papers.  There  is  little  pos- 
sibility that  the  bereaved  family  will  not  receive  tactful  consideration  on  all 
sides,  and  it  need  not  publicly  proclaim  its  loss  by  the  wearing  of  black,  the 
use  of  black-bordered  note  paper,  the  strict  withdrawal  from  any  merely 
social  activity. 

Today  when  a  girl  returns  to  her  office  desk  the  day  after  her  mother's 
funeral  wearing  her  usual  workaday  clothes  and  a  man  goes  forth  after  the 

137 


death  of  his  son  without  an  armband  to  proclaim  his  grief,  their  co-workers 
know  and  understand.  And  no  one  considers  that  they  mourn  any  the  less. 
Still,  a  few  stores  have  mourning  departments  and  advisers  who  may  be 
consulted,  free  of  charge,  on  the  use  of  mourning  and  semi-mourning  for 
those  who  wish  to  cling  to  a  rapidly  passing  tradition. 

RESTRICTION    OF  ACTIVITIES 

Those  who  have  just  lost  someone  close  to  them  naturally  feel  disinclined 
toward  public  festivity.  Scheduled  events,  such  as  weddings,  are,  however, 
permitted  to  take  place  (see  "Weddings").  Most  of  us  pursue,  or  try  to 
pursue,  our  usual  social  course  within  a  week  or  so  after  a  funeral  in  our 
immediate  family,  with  our  own  feelings  and  convictions  governing  our 
behavior  rather  than  "what  people  might  think." 

Today  we  go  to  small  dinner  parties,  to  concerts  and  the  opera,  to  the 
theater  and  the  movies.  We  play  games,  including  cards,  and  listen  to  the 
radio  and  read  novels,  all  as  an  aid  to  regaining  our  ability  to  function 
normally.  We  try  to  remember  that  our  own  state  of  mind  affects  those 
around  us  and  aids  or  interferes  with  their  ability  to  face  life's  daily 
problems. 

The  activities  of  young  children  should  never  be  restricted  after  a  death 
has  occurred  in  a  family.  Children  have,  if  anything,  even  more  need  to 
run  and  jump  and  play  when  their  parents  are  weighted  with  sorrow  and 
strange  things  are  happening  in  the  house.  The  fact  of  death  must  be  faced 
by  everyone,  and  children,  unless  they  are  very  tiny  indeed,  cannot  be 
shielded  from  it.  They  can  understand  the  tears  and  the  immediate  grief, 
but  continuing  sorrow  is  not  the  pattern  of  the  normal  child.  Let  him  run 
off  his  tension  in  uninhibited  play  and  noise— away  from  the  mourning  house 
if  there  are  those  who  cannot  understand  a  child's  needs. 

RESUMPTION    OF    DATING 

The  lonely  widow  or  widower  wishing  to  face  realistically  the  problem 
of  deep  personal  loss  today  is,  after  about  three  months  of  widowhood, 
ready  for  quiet  dates  with  members  of  the  opposite  sex.  Modern  men  and 
women  approve  such  emotionally  healthful  reaching  out  for  reassurance. 
In  a  small,  conservative  community  such  dating  is  limited  at  first  to  eve- 
nings at  home,  movies,  the  theater,  musical  events,  walks  and  drives,  small 
parties  with  other  couples.  Often,  today,  remarriage  during  widowhood 
takes  place  in  less  than  the  formerly  prescribed  year.  In  cities  where  life  is 
more  impersonal  there  is  less  likelihood  of  criticism  than  in  small  towns.  But 
here  again  mature  people  can  best  decide  what  is  best  for  them  in  their  par- 
ticular circumstance.  In  general  neighbors  are  happy  to  see  widowhood  end, 
so  long  as  remarriage  does  not  seem  unduly  ill-considered  and  hasty. 


138 


2  i 

—    DRESS  AND  MANNERS 


Men's  Clothes  140 

What's  What  in  Various  Sports  161 

The  W ell-Groomed  Man  171 

A  Man's  Manners  in  the  Business  World  176 

The  Masculine  Graces  183 

The  Well-Dressed  Woman  igo 

The  Fastidious  and  Well-Mannered  Woman  200 

The  Social  Pleasantries  212 

The  Smoking  Problem  21Q 

Clubs  222 

Manners  at  Table  228 

Our  Community  Relations  and  Interfaith  Courtesy  and  Understanding  243 

The  New  Citizen  and  His  Particular  Problems  250 


DRESS  AND  MANNERS 


Good  manners  and  appropriate  dress  are,  or  should  be,  part  and  parcel  of 
gentle  people.  Notice  the  word  "appropriate."  Clothing  need  not  be  expen- 
sive or  of  the  finest  needlework  or  tailoring,  but  it  must  suit  the  occasion  on 
which  it  is  worn.  We  are  not  born  with  the  knowledge  that  French  heels 
are  in  poor  taste  with  a  classic  tweed  suit,  that  boisterousness  is  out  of  place 
in  church.  Precept  and  example  show  us  how  ladies  and  gentlemen  should 
look  and  act.  And  feel.  Outward  conformity  to  a  code  is  never  enough. 

The  finest  rules  for  behavior  are  to  be  found  in  chapter  13  of  First  Corin- 
thians, the  beautiful  dissertation  on  charity  by  St.  Paul.  These  rules  have 
nothing  to  do  with  the  fine  points  of  dress  nor  with  those  of  superficial 
manners.  They  have  to  do  with  feelings  and  attitudes,  kindliness,  and  con- 
sideration of  others.  Good  manners  have  much  to  do  with  the  emotions.  To 
make  them  ring  true,  one  must  feel  them,  not  merely  exhibit  them. 


CHAPTER    SEVENTEEN 

MEN'S  CLOTHES 


Two  world  wars  have  made  both  male  manners  and  manner  of  dressing 
more  casual.  A  man  is  certainly  more  comfortable,  and  his  clothing,  even 
for  the  relatively  conservative,  more  colorful  and  varied.  He  goes  to  business 
vestless  (in  a  double-breasted  suit  which  can  do  away  with  the  extra  gar- 
ment), in  a  collar-attached,  often  colored,  shirt,  in  a  suit  which  may  differ 
greatly  from  the  Oxford,  navy,  or  black  one  his  father  considered  a  gentle- 
man's business  uniform.  His  hat  may  be  a  soft,  snap  brim  or  a  rolling  Hom- 
burg,  but  it  needn't  be  the  derby,  a  headgear  not  universally  becoming.  He 
is  no  longer  a  dun-colored  bird.  Even  if  he  is  properly  cautious  about  the 

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PART   TWO      DRESS    AND   MANNERS 

use  of  color  in  town  (if  he's  not  completely  sure  of  his  taste),  he  can  indulge 
his  long  inhibited  love  of  it  in  undergarments  whose  patterns  and  colors 
often  rival  Tahiti's  sarongs.  His  slack  suits  at  home,  his  bathing  outfit,  his 
pajamas,  his  clothes  for  active  sports,  his  country  wardrobe  may  all  pro- 
claim a  peacock— if  he  can  get  away  with  it  gracefully.  But  he'd  better  be 
able  to  live  up  to  it. 

It  takes  a  good  figure,  perfect  carriage,  and  tolerable  looks  as  well  as  an 
inborn  style  for  a  man  to  wear  some  of  the  modern  clothes  well.  If  he 
hasn't  these  attributes  he's  better  off  minimizing  his  defects  by  sticking  at 
all  times  to  conservative  habiliments  designed  to  call  no  special  attention  to 
themselves  or  him. 

SUITS 

A  man's  profession,  the  kind  of  work  he  does,  must  necessarily  influence 
his  choice  of  suits.  If  he's  a  gentleman  farmer,  an  artist,  or  a  writer  and 
rarely  goes  into  the  larger  cities  near  his  home,  he  may  get  along  nicely 
with  one  sack  suit,  filling  out  his  wardrobe  with  slacks  and  sports  coats  to 
please  his  fancy  and  satisfy  his  needs.  Such  a  man  may  even  look  quite 
appropriately  dressed  if  he  comes  to  town  attired  in  his  customary  clothes— 
a  sports  jacket  and  slacks  or  peaty  tweeds— if  he  keeps  to  such  masculine 
haunts  as  his  club,  men's  bars,  offices,  or  the  homes  of  his  understanding 
friends.  He  is  dressed  informally,  albeit  quite  possibly  more  expensively 
than  some  on  whom  he  might  call.  So  attired  he  does  not  belong  in  pre- 
tentious restaurants,  at  receptions,  funerals,  weddings,  or  directors'  meetings. 
A  man  whose  professional  or  business  life  takes  him  on  frequent  trips  to 
parts  of  the  country  where  life  is  less  formal  than  it  is  in  New  York,  and 
where  his  activities  may  take  him  more  out  of  offices  than  in  them,  is 
justified,  too,  in  wearing  slacks  and  a  sports  jacket  or  tweeds  to  town  if 
his  travels  will  carry  him  more  or  less  immediately  out  again.  Slacks  and 
sports  jackets  and  of  course  tweeds  are  more  and  more  worn  for  travel, 
as  rumpled  they  look  less  unattractive  than  does  a  sack  suit.  A  commuter, 
who  comes  in  for  a  short  day— a  half  holiday,  say— and  who  has  no  plans 
for  any  appearances  in  town  that  require  a  more  formal  outfit,  can  con- 
ceivably choose  to  wear  slacks  to  his  office.  But  the  wearing  of  this  costume 
indicates  the  country  gentleman  who  invades  the  city,  if  only  for  a  short 
time.  For  a  city  dweller  to  choose  it  for  office  wear  when  he  is  not  planning 
to  leave  the  city  that  day  seems  posey.  For  other  than  executives  to  select 
such  a  costume  for  office  work  might  seem  pretentious  to  an  employer. 

THE    BUSINESS    SUIT 

The  suits  a  man  wears  to  work  should  avoid  being  too  distinctive  in  pat- 
tern, fabric,  cut,  or  color  unless  he  has  a  tremendous  wardrobe  from  which 
to  draw.  I  remember  one  young  executive  with  whom  I  shall  always 
associate  a  sharkskin  suit,  although  he  may  have  had  several  others  with 
which  to  spell  it.  But  he  had  to  wear  it  much  too  often.  As  sharkskin  can't 

141 


be  cut  on  the  easy  lines  of  tweed  or  Cheviot,  my  mind  always  sees  him 
poured  into  that  piscine  garment. 

It  is  safer  to  be  dressed  for  any  business  occasion  that  might  occur  than 
to  go  to  the  office  in  clothes  that  might  be  out  of  place  if  an  important 
client  should  turn  up  or  a  vital  meeting  be  called.  The  beloved  rainy-day 
suit  looks  shabby  when  the  sun  comes  out  at  noon,  the  old  tweed  jacket 
throws  a  man  off  stride  if  he's  suddenly  precipitated  into  a  group  of  men 
wearing  directors'  jackets  ( double-breasted,  sometimes  single-breasted  black, 
short  sack  coats). 

In  winter,  worsteds,  flannel,  the  softer  tweeds,  Saxony,  and  Cheviots  are 
office  wear.  In  spring  and  summer,  gabardines  and  the  various  fight-weight 
fabrics  are  correct,  with  more  latitude  in  the  matter  of  mixed  outfits.  Sum- 
mer social  activities  don't  center  in  cities,  so  the  man  who  must  work  in  town 
is  permitted  clothing  comfort— within  reason.  He  is  still  expected  to  wear  a 
coat,  if  only  a  seersucker  one,  even  though  his  own  office  etiquette  may  per- 
mit him  to  be  coatless  at  his  desk  while  not  engaged  with  visitors  or  his 
superiors. 

His  suit  colors  may  be  gray,  black,  any  of  the  toast  browns,  grayed 
greens,  blues.  The  strong  reddish-browns  (except  in  Harris  tweeds),  the 
yellow-greens,  and  the  strong  green-blues  had  better  be  bypassed  except  in 
an  extensive  wardrobe.  A  man's  suit  should  be  of  good  enough  quality  to 
last  four  or  five  years,  if  he  alternates  it  with  at  least  three  others  of  the 
same  quality.  If  any  one  suit  is  too  assertive  it  automatically  telescopes  his 
wardrobe.  The  same  is  true  of  a  too  vibrant  plaid,  a  too  broadly  striped  one, 
a  very  pale  color,  or  a  check  that  doesn't  fade  into  gray  at  a  short  distance, 
or  too  shaggy  a  tweed. 

The  double-breasted  suit  is  considered  more  comfortable  by  some  men 
for  business  wear,  because  it  does  not  require  a  vest.  Unless  it  is  carefully 
tailored  to  his  measurement  with  certain  trompe  Voeil  details,  it  can  be  most 
unbecoming  to  the  man  of  less  than  average  height  or  to  one  who,  though 
tall  enough,  has  too  generous  girth  or  too  short  a  waist.  The  suit  has  become 
so  popular,  not  only  because  it  permits  doing  away  with  the  vest,  but  be- 
cause it  suggests  the  American  "wedge  of  cheese"  sartorial  effect.  To  be 
effective,  it  requires  a  trim  waistline  and  it  must  be  kept  buttoned  when  a 
man  is  on  his  feet. 

If  it  is  worn  by  a  short  man  with  a  short  or  large  waist  the  broadening 
effect  of  the  suit's  cut  foreshortens  the  wearer.  But  a  man  with  less  than 
an  Adonis  figure  can  wear  the  double-breasted  suit  if  the  buttons  are  not 
so  far  apart  as  to  carry  the  eye  to  the  outside  outlines  of  the  figure,  and  if 
the  broadened  shoulder  line  is  on  the  conservative  side  and  begins  high 
enough  to  give  an  illusion  of  waist.  Slanting  the  top  buttons  outward  helps 
the  effect.  Lengthening  the  coat  doesn't  usually  simulate  height.  On  the 
contrary,  it  shortens  the  legs.  The  length  of  the  coat  is  determined  by  the 
shape  of  the  man.  A  suit  coat  should  always  be  long  enough  to  cover  the 
seat  of  the  trousers,  but  on  a  short  man  it  should  not  be  longer  than  that, 

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PART  TWO     DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

no  matter  what  the  current  fashion.  A  man  who  is  tall  and  very  thin  looks 
better  dressed  in  a  coat  of  medium  length.  A  too  short  one  puts  him  on 
stilts,  and  one  too  long  accentuates  his  thinness. 

The  single-breasted  suit  requires  a  vest  except,  perhaps,  in  the  hottest 
weather.  Even  for  the  most  conservative  business  occasions,  the  vest  need 
not  match  the  suit  in  fabric  or  color.  The  black-and-white,  black,  blue,  and 
white,  or  black,  white,  and  yellow-checked  Tattersall  waistcoat  on  light 
ground  flannel  is  correct  even  with  plaid  or  pin  striped  suits,  as  is  the 
natural-color  chamois  waistcoat  (weskit).  It  takes  a  man  knowledgeable  and 
easy  with  his  clothes  to  wear  them  well,  however.  False  moves  with  a  tie, 
a  shirt,  or  socks  can  make  the  wearer  of  a  contrasting  waistcoat  look  like 
a  drummer.  Fancy  waistcoats  call  for  white  shirts,  paisley,  foulard,  or  solid 
color  ties.  They  should  be  the  sole  accent  note  of  the  costume.  The  bottom 
button  of  the  vest  is  nearly  always  left  unbuttoned. 

The  trousers  of  the  sack  suit  may  have  cuffs  or  be  pressed  straight  down, 
depending  on  preference.  If  they  are  tailor-made  and  cuffless,  the  bottoms 
should  be  finished  so  they  can  be  turned  up  in  stormy  weather.  Length  of 
trousers  is  again  a  matter  of  individual  taste,  but,  fashionably,  those  with 
permanent  cuffs  should  hang  straight  and  not  break  over  the  instep.  The 
trousers  width  should  be  medium,  avoiding  the  sloppiness  of  the  English 
"bags"  and  the  narrowness  of  the  Continental  trouser  leg.  The  short  man 
improves  his  appearance  by  wearing  his  trousers  cut  fairly  high,  comfortably 
above  the  hipbones. 

All  trousers  hang  better  when  suspenders  are  worn  and  when  a  minimum 
is  carried  in  the  pockets.  The  carefully  groomed  man  limits  his  trouser 
pocket  contents  to  his  small  change  and  his  keys.  The  keys  should  be  in  a 
flat  key  case.  A  used  handkerchief,  folded  as  flat  as  possible,  can  be  returned 
to  his  hip  pocket,  but  his  wallet  there  may  make  an  unsightly  rear  bulge 
(and  may  be  an  invitation  to  pickpockets  who  are  not  deterred  by  a  button). 
A  distinguished  man,  former  President  Miguel  Aleman  of  Mexico,  noted  for 
his  excellent  taste  in  clothes,  once  told  me  that  he  carried  an  absolute  min- 
imum in  his  suit  pockets  so  his  clothes  would  fit  as  they  were  tailored  to  fit. 
He  pointed  out  that  a  man  who  must  take  along  with  him  the  familiar  assort- 
ment of  papers,  checkbooks,  pens,  pencils,  photographs,  credentials,  and 
the  wealth  of  small-boy  items  he  manages  to  collect  would  make  a  better 
appearance  if  he  carried  most  of  them  in  a  brief  case  rather  than  on  his 
person. 

refinements  of  tailoring  The  notch  on  the  collar  of  a  business  suit  should 
be  almost  a  right  angle  and  the  lapel  in  recent  years  has  tended  to  be  cut  a 
little  broader  than  the  collar,  especially  on  a  single-breasted  coat.  On  double- 
breasted  suits  the  lapels  are  definitely  wider  than  the  collar  and  are  fre- 
quently slightly  peaked  instead  of  right-angled  but  should  always  avoid  the 
pixylike  exaggerated  peak.  (See  illustration.) 

Side  pockets,  except  occasional  patch  pockets,  should  have  flaps  (which 
for  good  grooming  should  always  be  worn  out).  Trouser  pleats  may  be  long 

143 


business  suits  Left:  Moderate  peak,  double-breasted  suit  still  preferred  by 
many  older  men  or  those  with  problem  figures.  Good  shoulder  line  merely 
improves  slightly  on  natural  contours  except  to  correct  defects— such  as  one 
shoulder  lower  than  other.  Right:  Exaggerated  peak  like  pixie-ears.  Not  rec- 
ommended. This  is  often  teamed  with  impossibly  athletic  shoulders  and  an 
over-long  coat.  Theatrical. 

on  the  tall,  slim  man,  but  on  the  average  or  short  man  unpressed  pleats 
not  too  generous,  extending  a  few  inches  below  the  waistline,  are  more 
becoming.  The  buttonhole  on  the  left  lapel  should  be  usable.  In  custom- 
made  suits  it  is  sensible  to  have  the  sleeve  buttons  completely  functional,  so 
the  cuffs  may  be  turned  back  if  desired.  British  tailoring  features  this,  to- 
gether with  colorful  suit  linings  meant  to  be  seen  occasionally.  The  sleeve 
length  should  permit  one  half  inch  of  shirt  cuff  to  show  when  the  arm  is  at 
the  side.  Visible  hand-stitching  on  collar  and  lapels  advertises  the  tailor-made 
suit  and  insures  careful  workmanship. 

THE    MORNING    COAT    OR    CUTAWAY    AND    ACCESSORIES 

This  is  an  expensive  accouterment  for  a  man  who  does  not  lead  a  fairly 
active  social  life,  but  it  is  often  a  necessary  one.  It  is  the  proper  costume  for 
a  really  formal  daytime  wedding,  when  the  bride  wears  a  veil  and  has 
bridesmaids.  It  is  the  usual  costume  of  the  church  usher.  In  fact  it  is  worn 
at  any  daytime  function,  until  six  o'clock,  that  makes  any  attempt  at  being 
impressive  or  festive— a  wedding,  a  public  funeral,  a  debutante  tea,  a  call 
at  the  White  House  or  at  a  governor's  mansion,  a  concert,  a  christening,  a 
city  church  service,  any  daytime  ceremony. 

Many  a  man  who  owns  a  morning  coat  rarely  thinks  to  wear  it,  yet  its 
acquisition  need  not  be  the  extravagance  it  seems.  Once  acquired,  formal 
daytime  dress  should  be  worn  frequently,  so  a  man  feels  at  ease  in  it.  His 
coat  need  not  be  the  cutaway  but,  more  modernly,  may  be  the  short,  even 
double-breasted  black  or  Oxford  sack  coat,  or  "director's  coat,"  unless  the 
suit  must  be  bought  especially  for  a  formal  wedding  or  other  use  where  the 
wearer  is  expected  to  be  attired  the  same  as  other  members  of  the  group  who 
144 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

already  possess  cutaways.  But  where  all  the  ushers,  say,  are  buying  new 
morning  coats  for  a  wedding,  it  might  be  better  to  suggest  the  short  and, 
I  think,  more  wearable  jacket  to  be  worn  with  the  usually,  but  not  neces- 
sarily, striped  trousers. 

It  is  no  longer  necessary,  nor  even  usual,  to  wear  spats  with  a  morning 
coat  except  for  a  formal  wedding,  where  white  or  sand  linen  spats  are  worn 
in  the  summertime  with  a  white  or  sand-colored  waistcoat.  The  correct  hat 
with  the  morning  coat  is  the  black  silk  hat,  although  in  England  the  gray 
topper  is  frequently  worn  at  Ascot  and  for  coaching.  In  summer,  ushers  in 
morning  coats  frequently  go  hatless  and  straw  or  panama  hats  are  now  quite 
permissible  for  wedding  guests  in  cutaways.  A  top  executive,  wearing  a 
morning  coat  to  his  office  or  the  slightly  less  formal  sack  coat  with  striped 
trousers,  will  probably  feel  less  conspicuous  on  the  street  in  a  black  Hom- 
burg  or  a  black  soft  felt  hat  than  in  a  silk  one.  He  wears  a  black  or  dark 
blue  outer  coat.  Spats,  if  worn  at  all  with  the  outfit  (and  they  should  never 
be  worn  at  funerals),  should  be  light  or  dark  tan  or  light  gray.  Black  socks, 
plain  or  ribbed,  are  worn  with  black  calf,  plain-tipped  oxfords.  Except  at 
funerals,  the  black  socks  may  be  figured  or  clocked  in  white. 

In  winter  the  waistcoat,  which  may  be  single-breasted  or  (usually,  except 
on  distinctly  older  men)  double-breasted,  may  be  pearl  gray  or  light  or 
darker  tan,  or  may  match  the  black  or  Oxford  gray  of  the  coat. 

Shirts  worn  with  the  morning  coat  should  be  with  single  or  French 
"double"  cuffs,  white  with  pleated  or  plain  bosom.  The  collar  is  wing  or 
turndown,  again  depending  on  whether  one  is  dressing  like  others  in  a 
group  or  not.  The  Ascot  in  a  variety  of  materials  from  rep  silk  to  broadly 
striped  grosgrain,  in  grayed  effects  or  plain  black,  white  or  lavenders  (more 
mature),  is  the  formal  type  of  tie  but  the  four-in-hand  is  often  worn,  and 
always  worn  in  black  for  funerals.  With  the  sack  coat,  the  four-in-hand 
suits  its  somewhat  lesser  formality.  With  the  Ascot,  a  pearl  pin  or  an  antique 
or  modern  gold  scarfpin  set  with  moonstone,  amethyst,  or  other  light  stones 
is  worn  but  is  nowadays  usually  dispensed  with  on  the  four-in-hand.  Pearl 
studs  are  de  rigueur  for  the  shirt,  and  gold  cuff  links— which  may  even  be 
large,  striking  antique,  jeweled  ones— fasten  the  cuffs.  The  boutonniere  may 
be  any  small,  suitable  flower— a  dark  red  or  white  carnation,  a  cornflower, 
or  bridal  flowers  at  a  wedding  (orange  blossoms,  white  violets,  gardenias, 
lilies  of  the  valley,  etc.,  with  the  groom  alone  wearing  a  sprig  from  the 
bride's  bouquet).  At  a  funeral  no  boutonniere  is  worn. 

Garters  and  suspenders  are  conservative  gray  or  black-and-white,  the 
handkerchief  pure  white,  the  scarf  gray,  white,  or  black,  and  the  gloves  light 
gray  mocha,  except  at  a  funeral  where  dark  gray  suede  gloves  are  substituted. 

THE    DINNER    JACKET    AND    ACCESSORIES 

A  man,  especially  a  young  man,  may  be  able  to  do  without  a  morning  coat, 
but  he  needs  a  dinner  jacket  (even  if  he  never  owns  a  tail  coat).  Here  is  a 
suit  that  should  do  duty  for  five  years  if  it  is  well  chosen,  of  good  quality, 

145 


from  a  good  men's  shop,  if  ready-made,  or  carefully  tailored  by  a  recognized 
tailor.  Unless  a  man  can  afford  two  or  more  dinner  jackets,  he  should  stick 
to  the  conservative  black,  for  if  he  appears  in  it  time  and  time  again,  no  one 
knows  but  what  he  may  have  two  or  a  dozen  like  it.  If  he  chooses  his  one 
tuxedo  in  the  newer  midnight  blue,  it  would  seem  inconceivable  to  the 
observant  eye  that  he  had  two  such  alike.  And  there  are  occasions  on  which 
he  might  feel  slightly  conspicuous  in  the  slightly  less  formal  blue.  As  for 
dark  red  or  other  colors  in  dinner  jackets  which  may  have  seasonal  popu- 
larity, it's  better  to  shun  them  unless  he  has  an  extensive  evening  wardrobe. 
No  girl  wants  her  beau  to  turn  up  in  a  red  suit,  no  matter  how  excellent  the 
cut  and  quality,  every  time  she  goes  dancing  or  dining  with  him.  Whereas 
his  one  black  dinner  jacket,  the  fully  accepted  evening  uniform  of  the  semi- 
festive  male,  is  never  too  remarkable. 

Modern  dinner  jackets  are  single-  or  double-breasted,  the  latter  to  be 
worn  with  or  without  a  vest.  The  vest  usually  matches  the  suit  but  may  also 
be  of  white  pique,  marseilles  (or  marcella),  or  black  or  midnight  blue  silk, 
ribbed  or  figured.  Small  braid  matching  that  on  the  trousers  may  trim  the 
vest  in  a  custom-made  suit.  It  is  fastened  with  self -covered  or  smoked  pearl 
buttons,  not  links.  The  vest  is  always  dispensed  with  with  a  cummerbund 
(silk,  rib-hugging  sash  which  hides  the  top  of  the  trousers),  but  this  some- 
what dashing  accessory  is  no  asset  to  a  gentleman  of  expanded  girth.  The 
cummerbund  is  now  best  worn  in  black,  maroon,  or  midnight  blue.  The 
cummerbund  is  particularly  attractive,  and  certainly  more  comfortable,  in 
summer  and  may  be  topped  by  a  summer  dinner  jacket  in  white,  with  or 
without  lapels  or  shawl  collar  in  the  same  fabric.  Or,  if  a  man's  figure  can 
stand  it,  a  white  linen  mess  jacket,  but  this  has  come  to  be  considered 
theatrical. 

Dinner  jacket  lapels  may  be  more  peaked  than  those  of  business  suits  but 
should  avoid  eccentricity.  A  shawl  or  a  notched  collar,  considered  more 
casual,  is  preferred  by  some,  and  the  facing  of  either  type  may  be  satin, 
grosgrain,  or  of  the  same  fabric  if  the  jacket  is  white. 

The  lines  of  a  dinner  jacket  should  be  about  the  same  as  those  of  an  easy, 
comfortable  business  suit.  Avoid  the  too-fitted  waist  and  the  too-narrow 
Latin-style  trousers  as  well  as  the  absurdly  built-out  shoulders,  although 
some  padding  is  advisable  for  most  men. 

braid  on  trousers  It  is  not  entirely  necessary  to  have  a  different  pair  of 
trousers  (always  uncuffed)  to  be  worn  with  a  tail  coat,  as  there  is  only  a 
shade  of  difference  between  the  braid  on  the  trousers  worn  with  full  dress  and 
those  meant  for  a  tuxedo.  Specifications  differ  very  slightly  over  a  period  of 
years,  but,  generally  speaking,  the  braid  for  full  dress  is  double  or  triple 
width  while  that  on  dinner  jacket  trousers  narrower  and  usually  coarser. 
Sometimes  a  very  broad  braid  in  satin  finish  is  worn  with  dress  trousers,  and 
at  times  some  men  affect  no  braid  at  all  on  trousers  with  a  dinner  jacket 
(though  there  is  some  possibility  they  might  be  accused  of  aping  their 
butlers— who  wear  no  braid). 

146 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

For  a  man  with  heavy  social  duties  two  pairs  of  trousers  to  go  with  his 
dinner  jacket  and  one  pair  of  full  dress  trousers  might  be  an  economy.  But 
the  average  man,  unless  he  has  pretensions  to  being  a  fashion  plate,  can  get 
along  with  one  pair  of  evening  trousers,  matching  his  dinner  jacket  and  to 
be  worn,  as  needed,  with  it  or  his  full  dress  coat. 

the  shirt  A  revolution  has  taken  place  in  the  past  twenty-five  years  in  the 
matter  of  the  proper  shirt  to  wear  with  a  dinner  jacket.  No  longer  is  the  old, 
and  to  some  torturous,  "boiled  shirt"  and  stiff  collar  strictly  necessary.  Even 
for  quite  formal  occasions  the  best-dressed  men  wear  white  soft  front, 
pleated,  or  plain  collar-attached  (or  separate  starched  collar)  shirts  and, 
in  summer,  even  button-down  collar  shirts  with  buttoned  wristbands.  Soft 
dinner  shirts  may  even  have  the  usual  ocean  pearl  buttons  but  can  be  had 
to  accommodate  small  real  pearl,  onyx,  gold,  or  small  smoked  pearl  studs 
(two  or  three  of  them).  Cuff  links  may  match  the  studs,  or,  if  a  man 
possesses  them,  he  may  wear  handsome  antique  or  modern  jeweled  ones. 

the  tie  The  tie  for  a  dinner  jacket  is  always  a  bow  in  black  (or  sometimes 
midnight  blue,  with  midnight  blue  dinner  jacket)  dull  silk,  rep,  grosgrain 
(seldom),  or  satin.  Maroon  rep  is  sometimes  worn  but,  if  so,  looks  better  in 
summer  with  matching  cummerbund  and  a  dark  red  carnation. 

the  BOUTONNDinE  As  a  dinner  jacket  is  a  semiformal  outfit,  there  is  leeway  in 
the  selection  of  boutonnieres,  although  the  carnation  in  red  or  white  is  most 
popular.  White  flowers  other  than  carnations  usually  seem  bridal,  but  cer- 
tainly a  miniature  dahlia  in  white  or  any  other  color  would  be  quite  suitable, 
as  are  cornflowers,  pinks,  strawflowers,  holly,  or  snowberries  (in  the  right 
season)  or  any  little  flower— even  a  tiny  orchid  or  modest  gardenia— that  can 
go  through  an  evening  in  such  service  without  early  collapse. 

Any  woman  would  prefer  no  boutonniere  at  all  to  one  of  the  permanent- 
duty  feather  ones.  (Of  course,  the  wearing  of  a  decoration,  such  as  the 
Legion  of  Honor,  precludes  the  wearing  of  a  boutonniere.)  How  would  any 
man  like  her  to  wear  a  corsage  of  imitation  orchids?  There  is  always  the 
tender  implication  that  the  woman  a  man  is  escorting  has  placed  the  bou- 
tonniere in  his  lapel  with  her  own  hands— as  she  very  often  does. 

evening  socks  Socks  worn  with  dinner  or  full  dress  clothes  are  solid  black  silk 
or  nylon,  ribbed  or  plain.  With  the  dinner  jacket  they  may  be  self  clocked 
or  even  clocked  in  white. 

THE    TAIL    COAT   AND    ACCESSORIES 

This  is  the  winter,  formal  evening  outfit  of  the,  usually  urban,  gentleman— 
"white  tie,"  it's  called  on  formal  invitations.  A  man  wears  it  to  the  opera— at 
least  to  the  opening  or  when  he  sits  in  a  box  with  others  similarly  attired— 
to  an  evening  wedding  (which  rarely  occurs  in  New  York),  to  formal  din- 
ners where  it  is  requested,  although  the  modern  hostess  knows  that  many 
men  do  not  possess  this  garment  and  will  either  stay  away  if  it  is  required 

147 


or  ask  if  they  may  wear  "black  tie."  It  is  worn  at  balls,  evening  debuts  (but 
here,  especially  if  the  hostess  hopes  for  a  turnout  of  young,  dancing  men,  a 
choice  of  "black  or  white  tie"  may  be  given  on  the  invitation),  and  for  any 
elaborate  evening  entertainment.  The  host  at  a  dinner  party,  at  home  or  not, 
is  never  incorrect  when  so  attired,  when  the  hostess  has  given  a  choice  to 
the  men  of  black  or  white  tie.  It  is  possible  that  a  man  might  be  requested 
in  some  communities  to  wear  a  tail  coat  to  a  formal  evening  wedding  in  the 
summertime,  but  generally  speaking  it  is  winter  wear. 

Like  the  dinner  jacket,  the  tail  coat  may  today  be  black  or  the  deep  mid- 
night blue  which  reputedly  looks  blacker  than  black  at  night.  The  trousers 
worn  with  it  may  be  the  same  as  those  for  the  dinner  jacket,  for  economy's 
sake,  or  have  the  somewhat  wider,  finer  braid  usual  for  full  dress.  The 
lapels  are  satin  or  grosgrain  (of  course  grosgrain  is  so  dull  that  one  might 
almost  as  well  wear  a  dark  blue  or  black  sack  coat),  always  conservatively 
peaked  and  never  the  shawl  collar  sometimes  seen  on  dinner  jackets.  If  he 
can  possibly  afford  it,  a  man  should  have  his  tail  coat  made  to  order,  unless 
he  is  of  average  proportions,  because  it  is  almost  impossible  to  alter  a  ready- 
made  tail  coat  so  that  it  fits  as  if  it  were  made  for  him.  A  man  somewhat 
under  average  height  may  shun  the  tail  coat,  because  he  feels  it  makes  him 
look  shorter.  Yet  if  the  tails  are  proportioned  to  his  height  by  an  expert 
tailor  the  suit  can  seem  to  give  him  several  inches  in  height.  A  ready-made 
tail  coat— or  a  rented  one— for  such  a  man  can  make  him  look  like  a  small 
boy  masquerading  in  his  father's  clothes.  But,  tailored  to  fit,  "white  tie" 
can  give  any  man  a  special  dignity  and  distinction  as  do  no  other  clothes. 

the  waistcoat,  tie,  and  shirt  The  full  dress  waistcoat  is  always  white— pique 
or  marcella,  with  white  or  antique  pearl  buttons  which  may  be  inserted  like 
studs  for  washability.  It  is  made  with  or  without  a  revers  and  with  the  bottom 
cut  on  the  straight  line  preferably-  -although  this  is  usually  possible  only 
on  the  custom-made  suit  with  high-rise  trousers— and  is  worn  with  a  white 
pique  bow  tie.  The  shirt  is  a  neckband  one  with  one  or  two  studs  (small 
white  pearl,  gold,  platinum,  or  certain  antique  studs  with  light  colored 
stones  permissible). 

boutonniere,  gloves,  and  muffler  For  full  dress  the  boutonniere  is,  for 
conservatives,  always  white,  usually  a  carnation,  unless  for  a  wedding,  ball, 
or  other  very  festive  occasion  when  small  gardenias  are  suitable.  Dark  red 
carnations  are  often  favored,  too.  Gloves  worn  on  the  street  are  white  doe- 
skin or  chamois.  Today  the  white  kid  gloves,  ultra-correct  for  indoor  wear 
with  formal  clothes,  are  seldom  seen,  although  some  fastidious  men  don 
them  for  dancing,  to  avoid  having  to  place  a  moist  hand  on  a  woman's  bare 
back.  Actually,  a  man's  white  kid  gloves  worn  this  way  are  not  removed 
even  when  he  is  acknowledging  introductions  or  having  supper.  The  muffler 
worn  with  formal  dress  is  white  silk,  woven  or  knit,  initialed,  possibly,  in 
black  or  white— in  fact,  all  formal  evening  accessories  are  unrelieved  white 
or  black  or  a  combination  of  these  as,  for  example,  in  garters  and  braces, 

148 


PART  TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

which  may  be  white  or  black  with  contrasting  woven  or  embroidered  design 
in  black  or  white. 

yormal  hats  There  is  more  choice  of  a  hat  to  wear  with  a  dinner  jacket  than 
of  one  to  select  for  tails.  If  you  don't  own  a  black  silk  hat  or  an  opera  hat, 
don't  wear  tails  at  all.  With  a  dinner  jacket  one  may  wear  an  opera  hat 
(preferably  with  an  overcoat),  a  soft  black  or,  in  summer,  a  gray  felt  hat,  a 
black  Homburg,  or,  in  summer,  a  straw  sailor  or  a  panama.  Despite  the 
rigidity  and  severity  of  the  derby,  it  is  not  considered  suitable  for  any  but 
business  suits,  even  though  you  do  see  it  worn  sometimes  with  a  dinner 
jacket.  It  might  be  more  acceptable,  this  way,  with  a  shawl  collared  dinner 
jacket  (somewhat  less  formal). 


THE    FROCK    COAT 

This  is  a  rare  item  these  days  in  an  American  man's  wardrobe  and  is  found 
only  if  he  admits  to  his  years  or  is  perhaps  a  clergyman  or  fox  hunter.  It 
used  to  be  considered  the  preferred  coat  for  the  bride's  father  to  wear  with 
striped  trousers,  even  though  the  other  members  of  the  wedding  party  wore 
the  usual  cutaways.  Today's  father  has  more  spring  in  him,  I  guess.  At 
least  he  seems  to  like  wearing  the  cutaway  instead.  And  as  both  these 
formal  daytime  uniforms  seem  unyouthful  to  me,  I  can  see  why  he  might 
prefer  the  less  restrained  cutaway,  unless,  of  course,  there  is  entirely  too 
much  length  to  his  watch  chain. 


rHE    EVENING    HOUSE    SUIT 

Most  men  balk  at  dressing  for  small  dinner  parties  in  their  own  or  their 
friends'  homes,  although  they  are  relatively  willing  to  do  so  if  the  program 
includes  the  theater,  a  restaurant,  or  a  night  club  or,  perhaps,  all  three.  Left 
to  himself,  even  the  well-dressed  American  male  will  come  to  dinner  in  a 
dark  sack  suit,  and  if  he's  more  comfortable  that  way,  I  say,  let  him.  In  the 
country,  depending  on  the  temper  of  his  wife  and  what  his  neighboring 
males  get  away  with,  he  may  even  arrive  in  a  loud  plaid  flannel  shirt  and 
corduroy  trousers,  even  though  his  wife  prefers  to  get  out  of  her  wool  dress 
or  pullover  sweater  and  into  a  print,  a  little  black  dress,  or,  in  her  own  home, 
dinner  slacks,  pajamas,  or  hostess  gown. 

Into  the  breach  between  the  business  suit  and  the  tuxedo  steps  the  double- 
or  single-breasted  smoking  jacket  or  the  silk  or  gabardine  house  suit.  The 
smoking  jacket  is  cut  like  a  shawl  or  notch-collared  dinner  jacket  and  is 
made  of  dark  blue,  black,  or  maroon  velveteen  or  corduroy  with  satin  facing. 
An  old  pair  of  tuxedo  trousers  goes  admirably  with  it;  dark  gray  slacks  do, 
too.  This  outfit,  worn  with  a  soft-bosom  shirt  and  a  turndown,  buttoned 
down  collar  and  a  bow  tie  (black  or  maroon  preferred)  is  quite  acceptable 
for  off-duty  lounging  and  the  small,  home  dinner  when  other  men  present 
are  not  wearing  dinner  jackets.  The  silk  choppa  or  some  casual  silk  scarf 

149 


in  polka  dot,  paisley,  or  other  design  may  be  used  in  place  of  the  collar  and 
tie  by  the  man  who  can  wear  it  with  the  right  air. 

Even  more  chez  lux  than  the  smoking  jacket  is  the  silk,  gabardine,  or,  in 
summer,  cotton-weave  lounge  suit  (this  in  a  large  variety  of  colors  from 
forest  green  to  terra  cotta)  worn  usually  without  a  coat,  although  with  the 
silk  or  gabardine  suit  the  coat  is  sometimes  cut  smoking  jacket  style  to  be 
worn  with  a  white  soft  shirt.  It  seems  to  me  that  men  should  be  encouraged 
to  acquire  any  such  aids  to  more  comfortable  home  attire.  All  fastidious 
people  change  from  street  or  daytime  clothes  to  fresher  ones  for  dinner 
if  it  is  possible  to  do  so.  In  his  own  home  a  man  should  be  given  time  to 
change  from  his  business  clothes  into  something  easy  and  comfortable  or 
quite  festive  before  dinner,  and,  as  men's  clothes  are  trending,  these  two 
ideals  are  not  incompatible  even  if  he  dons  a  dinner  jacket. 

With  the  smoking  jacket,  which  is  the  most  acceptable  of  the  male 
lounging  outfits,  black  patent  pumps  are  worn  or  leather  house  slippers  that 
fit  like  a  pump,  although  they  are  cut  away  at  the  side  and  are  sometimes 
of  black  patent  and  red  or  black  soft  leather.  They  should  be  hard-soled  and 
have  a  heel. 

OVERCOATS 

Practical  for  the  average  man  is  the  black,  Oxford  gray,  or  dark  blue  chester- 
field with  a  black  velvet  or  self  collar.  (The  latter  may  have  silk-faced 
lapels  but  then  would  be  restricted  to  evening  use  or  to  wear  with  a  cuta- 
way.) The  chesterfield  may  be  single-  or  double-breasted  and  is  equally 
useful  for  day  as  for  semiformal  or  even  formal  evening  wear. 

The  black  satin-lined  evening  cape,  an  elegant  garment,  is  still  seen  on 
gentlemen  who  take  their  clothes  very  seriously  and  who  like  to  keep  alive 
the  niceties  of  Victorian  dress.  It  is  usually  tailored  to  measure  but  is  some- 
times featured  by  the  best  men's  shops  in  lush  seasons.  Once  you  own  it,  you 
can  presumably  wear  the  same  cape  the  rest  of  your  life  with  complete 
confidence. 

the  daytime  overcoat  For  town  wear  with  business  or  semiformal  daytime 
clothes  the  blue,  black,  or  Oxford  gray  double-  or  single-breasted  chester- 
field is  always  right  unless  the  business  suit  is,  say,  a  heather  mixture  or 
any  rather  woodsy  tweed  becoming  to  certain  big-boned  men.  The  chester- 
field goes  with  the  smooth  surface  fabric  or  herringbone,  but  tweeds  need 
a  more  loose-lined  topcoat,  not  only  for  comfort's  sake  but  for  congruity. 

RIDING    CLOTHES FORMAL    AND    INFORMAL 

The  term  "pinks"  refers  to  the  light  pinkish-sand  whipcord  officers'  trousers 
worn  by  army  officers.  But  the  "pink"  coat  cut  as  a  frock  coat,  shadbelly  (or 
Pytchely  coat),  or  cutaway  as  worn  by  members  of  the  hunt  is  really  vivid 
scarlet.  It  may  be  worn  by  anyone  joining  the  hunt  even  though  he  may 
not  be  especially  asked  to  wear  it  by  the  M.  F.  H.,  unless  the  club  has  a 

150 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

special,  colored  collar  (but  Oxford  or  black  is  better  unless  you  are  asked 
or  are  a  quite  famous  man  to  hounds).  Supposedly,  the  coat  was  devised  by 
an  English  tailor  named  "Pink"  and  was  intended  to  be  worn  by  riders  in 
the  hunt  who  were  particularly  familiar  with  the  terrain  so  that  they  could 
lead  the  chase.  Other  worthies  wore,  instead,  the  cutaway  or  the  black 
frock  coat,  but  most  hunt  clubs  now  put  on  an  occasional  show  of  "pink" 
on  all  their  members,  although  for  most  hunts  ordinary  riding  clothes  are 
worn.  Riding  breeches  in  white  or  sand  whipcord  are  worn  with  pink  coats, 
and  "brick"  red  or  "pinks"  with  the  dress  riding  sack,  and  must  be  accom- 
panied by  black,  not  brown,  boots  with  tan  or  champagne  color  tops.  All 
boots  have  black  soft  legs. 

The  hat  worn  with  a  pink  coat  is  a  high  hunting  silk  hat.  A  black  riding 
derby  which  is  shallower  than  the  street  derby  may  be  worn  with  the  dark 
cutaway  or  frock  coat,  or  the  black  velvet  beagling  cap  of  the  English 
foxhunter.  Caps  are  worn  only  by  the  master,  honorary  whippers-in,  the 
huntsmen,  and  professional  hunt  servants.  The  waistcoat  is  a  tattersall  or 
canary  wool  flannel,  or  may  be  of  any  distinctive  color  adopted  by  the  hunt. 

Traditional,  too,  for  formal  daytime  riding  clothes  is  the  white  stock 
worn  with  an  appropriate  scarf  pin,  white  or  buff  chamois  or  calf  gloves.  The 
stock  is  said  to  have  been  designed  to  act  as  a  bandage  in  case  of  accident, 
and  it  thus  is  a  truly  functional  bit  of  men's  wear  still. 

for  evening  horse  shows  For  night  horse  shows,  a  dinner  jacket  is  often  worn, 
especially  if  the  owner  is  showing  his  own  horse.  Trousers  may  be  the  usual 
ones,  or  evening  trousers  cut  slightly  narrow  in  the  leg  with  elastic  straps 
under  the  insteps.  The  black  evening  oxford  is  correct  and  the  hat  is  prefer- 
ably a  soft  black  felt. 

To  me  the  dinner  jacket  topping  even  the  most  blue-blooded  mount  seems 
incongruous,  and  I  prefer  the  black  or,  usually,  Oxford  gray  riding  habit  with 
black  boots.  However,  correct  though  this  is,  it  is  less  often  seen  even  in 
Madison  Square  Garden  than  the  more  usual  brown  or  tan  riding  jacket  with 
matching  or  contrasting  trousers  or  jodhpurs,  usually  in  putty  color  or  sand 
and  worn  with  well-burnished  brown  boots  or  jodhpur  shoes. 

informal  riding  clothes  In  the  show  ring  jodhpurs  are  considered  incorrect, 
although  they  are  often  worn  by  women,  but  this  Indian  importation  is 
attractive  on  the  man  of  average  or  more  than  average  height.  The  bulge 
of  the  jodhpur  trousers  might  be  less  flattering  than  ordinary  ones  on  the 
short  man,  especially  if  his  waistline  isn't  trim.  The  jodhpur,  because  of  its 
close  fit  and  lack  of  boot  (it  is  worn  with  a  special  pull-on  shoe),  is  cer- 
tainly not  the  garment  for  the  bandy-legged  man  or  one  who  can't  "show 
a  good  leg."  Boots  will  cover  his  shortcomings  more  adequately.  Jodhpurs 
must  fit  well  and  if  ready-made  must  be  altered  so  they  fit  smoothly  over 
the  calf  and  break  correctly  at  the  knee,  so  they  will  be  entirely  comfortable 
whether  you  are  on  the  horse  or  off  him. 

The  easiest,  most  universally  becoming  riding  outfit,  suitable  for  park 

151 


or  country  riding,  is  the  tweed  jacket  (cut  slightly  longer  than  an  ordinary 
one,  although  the  usual  tweed  sport  jacket  will  do)  and  twill,  cord,  linen, 
drill,  or  gabardine  riding  breeches,  worn  with  brown,  polished  boots  with 
a  rounded  toe  and  normal  heel.  (Fancy,  high-heeled  boots  are  fine  on  a 
dude  ranch  or  for  the  younger  fry,  to  be  worn  with  the  usual  riding  pants 
or  tucked  in  or  out  with  Levis.)  Shirts  may  be  open  at  the  neck  (except 
for  formal  park  riding,  when  a  button  down  collar  and  four-in-hand  tie 
or  a  stock  are  usual),  in  white  or  in  colored  flannel.  For  informal  cross- 
country riding  many  men  wear  plaid  flannel  shirts  or  in  summer  polo 
shirts,  with  or  without  coats.  A  derby  may  be  worn  with  the  complete  riding 
habit  (not  if  you  go  coatless  or  wear  a  shirt  open  at  the  neck),  or  a  soft 
felt  in  brown,  gray,  or  green.  A  pork  pie  looks  fine,  and  so  does  a  green 
tyrolean,  brush  and  all.  Caps  are  considered  correct  and  are  probably 
comfortable,  but  they  remind  me  of  Dick  Merriwell  and  the  Rover  Boys. 
Formal  hunting  dress,  by  some  called  "livery,"  whether  worn  by  amateur 
riders  or  hunt  "servants,"  is  rigidly  prescribed  and  is  a  subject  in  itself. 

TIES,    HANDKERCHIEFS,    AND    JEWELRY 

ties,  evening  and  otherwise  Not  every  man  is  dextrous  nor  can  every  man, 
attiring  himself  for  a  social  evening,  be  valeted.  Hence,  into  being  came  the 
pre-tied  bow  tie,  for  evening  as  well  as  for  day  wear.  It  seems  to  me  a  sad 
little  invention,  like  the  old-time  celluloid  shirt  and  the  sleeve  garter  that, 
I  gather,  compensates  for  the  ill-fitting  shirt  sleeve.  However,  I  suppose  the 
pre-tied  tie  is  better  than  a  self-tied  one  that  is  askew  most  of  the  evening. 
Most  men  wear  bow  ties  so  seldom  they  have  little  chance  to  practice  tying 
them,  but  a  man  with  a  nimble-fingered  wife  has  no  excuse  for  turning  up 
with  his  bow  tie  in  a  dreary  little  lump  or  in  the  startling  butterfly  perfec- 
tion of  some  of  the  pre-tied  ties.  If  a  pre-tied  tie  must  be  the  choice,  be 
careful  to  wear  it  with  a  turned  down  collar  if  it  has  an  observable  fastening 
in  the  back,  otherwise  the  coat  collar  will  eventually  ride  down  enough  dur- 
ing the  evening  to  reveal  this  little  sartorial  deception. 

The  daytime  tie,  usually  a  four-in-hand,  is  developing  into  an  often  gaudy 
creation  which  is  giving  the  long  color-repressed  male  a  chance  to  exhibit 
his  taste— or  lack  of  it— in  the  choice  of  ties  suitable  for  his  wardrobe.  While 
I  deplore  the  "poached  egg"  and  hand-painted,  as  well  as  the  explosively 
geometric  schools  of  tie  design,  I  suppose  it  is  the  privilege  of  the  male  to 
wear  them.  It  used  to  be  that  women  who  knew  little  about  men's  canons  of 
taste  were  responsible  for  the  gift  purchase  of  such  ties,  but  there  is  an 
alarming  trend  among  men  themselves  to  buy  and  wear  such  horrors. 

If  a  tie  has  any  design  but  a  variation  of  the  stripe,  the  paisley,  the  polka 
dot,  or  the  small  square,  it  had  better  be  of  exceptional  quality  and  style, 
with  cost  no  real  indication  of  either.  Any  woman  will  tell  you  that  it  is 
much  easier  to  combine  one  or  more  plain  colors  with  not  more  than  one 
figured  one  than  to  combine  several  figured  ones,  which  takes  some  knowl- 
edge of  color  and  design  values.  It  is  quite  possible  for  a  man  to  wear 

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PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

a  colored,  striped  shirt,  a  tattersall  waistcoat,  a  Glen  plaid  suit,  and  a 
bright,  figured  tie  and  a  fancy  handkerchief,  but  he  needs  either  innate  or 
acquired  taste  to  do  so.  A  man  who  is  not  sure  of  his  color  sense  is  safer 
wearing  plain  colored  or  white  shirts  with  a  suit  that  is  either  striped  or 
plaid,  plain  ties  and  shirts  with  "horse-blanket"  sports  jackets  or  patterned 
suits,  a  single  bright  accent  rather  than  several.  This  is,  admittedly,  the 
ultra-conservative  point  of  view.  There  are  men  who  can  wear  bright 
green  suits  with  pink  shirts  and  sunburst  ties  and  still  look  all  right,  I  guess- 
but  not  to  me. 

There  is  nothing  shameful  in  being  either  color  blind  or,  let  us  say,  color 
unsure.  It  is  only  the  foolhardy  male  who,  knowing  nothing  about  color 
harmony,  goes  right  ahead  and  buys  his  clothes  without  any  attempt  to 
co-ordinate  them  acceptably— and  without  seeking  advice.  Perhaps  it  was 
the  lack  of  opportunity  to  wear  bright  colors  for  generations  that  has  made 
the  male  uneasy  in  the  presence  of  the  wide  assortment  of  colored  and 
figured  garments  he  finds  even  in  the  most  conservative  shops.  He  sees  even 
his  most  reactionary  friends  attired  in  colors  and  color  combinations  quite 
unthinkable  except  in  Bohemian  or  Broadway  circles  a  few  years  back,  and 
he  wonders  if  he'll  have  the  audacity  himself  to  brighten  up  the  old  routine 
of  the  blue,  gray,  or  brown  suit  with  the  white,  blue,  gray,  or  tan  shirt 
and  the  plain  blue,  brown,  maroon,  or  (more  daringly)  green  ties  that  have 
been  his  safe  choice  for  so  long.  Perfectly  acceptable  males  are  wearing 
yellow,  for  example,  and  not  only  in  canary  waistcoats  in  the  hunting  field 
or  in  the  generations-old  chamois  ones.  They  wear  yellow  wool  mufflers 
and,  in  the  country,  yellow  knit  gloves  and  cheerful  bright  yellow  wool 
socks  and  polo  shirts.  The  old  maroon  tie  in  variations  of  pattern  is  always 
good,  but  the  reddest  of  red  ties  now  appear  on  sound,  aggressively  mascu- 
line men  and  with  good  effect,  too.  Green  suits  and  hats,  always  considered 
tasteful  in  English  and  Continental  tailoring  circles,  have  captured  the 
imaginations  of  the  most  conservative  American  ones.  Green  clothes  need 
still  to  be  chosen  with  caution  and  with  a  careful  eye  to  a  man's  coloring. 
If  he  has  a  sallow,  yellowish  cast  to  his  skin  he  can  look  mighty  bilious  in 
a  green  hat  or  suit.  Forest  green,  gray  green,  and  Lovat  green  are  the  safe 
ones  to  choose  in  wools  and  felts  and  go  best  with  the  well-tanned  skin  that 
has  underlying  color.  The  pinkish  skin  with  ruddy  accents  can  wear  the 
various  greens,  too. 

If  a  man  decides  to  put  a  litde  more  life  into  his  wardrobe,  he  will 
find  that  women  will  approve  and,  with  their  usually  more  developed  color 
sense,  be  able  to  advise  him  if  he  feels  he  needs  advice.  They  will  be  able 
to  help  him  find  what  is  right  for  him— irrespective  of  what  Jones  at  the 
club  turned  up  in  yesterday.  It  may  be  some  comfort  for  him  to  realize 
that  men  have  dressed  so  dully  and  conservatively  for  so  long  that  the 
relatively  slight  changes  going  on  in  men's  fashion  circles  (and  there  are 
male  style  leaders  who  exert  a  considerable  influence  on  what  men  wear, 
you  know)  go  almost  unnoticed,  and  not  only  by  other  men  but  even  by 

153 


the  more  fashion-conscious  women,  the  majority  of  whom  know  nothing  of 
what  is  considered  good,  tasteful  male  attire  from  a  technical  standpoint. 
But  women,  generally,  know  what  "looks  good"  on  their  own  or  other  males, 
and  many  a  man  who  has  improved  his  financial  and  social  position  over 
the  years  gets  some  help  from  his  wife  in  the  selection  of  his  clothes.  Many 
men,  in  fact,  leave  entirely  to  their  wives  the  purchase  of  handkerchiefs, 
socks,  underwear,  and  shirts  and  ask  their  wives  to  go  along  when  they  are 
choosing  a  ready-made  suit  or  overcoat  or  selecting  material  from  which  they 
are  to  be  made. 

handkerchiefs  I  feel  about  decorative  silk  handkerchiefs  for  men  exactly  as  I 
do  about  chiffon  squares  for  women— they  in  no  way  replace  the  good  white 
linen  or  lawn  handkerchief  and,  when  worn  for  decoration,  must  not  be 
used  for  the  handkerchief's  true  function— for  wiping  one's  face  after  exer- 
tion or  blowing  one's  nose.  Such  handkerchiefs  must,  usually,  be  dry-cleaned 
or  at  least  very  cautiously  washed,  so  they  are  not  suitable  for  sanitary 
purposes  at  all.  In  fact,  I  prefer  to  see  them  knotted  around  the  throat  for 
sports  wear  rather  than  poking  out  uselessly  from  a  breast  pocket. 

When  a  handkerchief  with  a  colored  border  or  initial  is  worn  (and  avoid 
these,  of  course,  with  formal  day  or  evening  dress  unless,  on  an  initialed 
handkerchief,  the  initial  is  in  black  or  white)  the  color  should  be  geared  to 
the  socks  and  tie,  preferably.  A  man  wearing  a  gray  suit,  a  light  gray,  white- 
striped  shirt,  a  maroon  figured  tie,  and  maroon  wool  socks  would  be  better 
off  choosing  a  handkerchief  initialed  in  maroon  rather  than  one  with  a  gray 
initial. 

The  handkerchief  in  a  man's  breast  pocket  is  supposed  to  be  a  clean, 
completely  unused  one,  folded  and  placed  casually  so  that  it  shows  about 
two  inches  above  the  edge  of  the  pocket.  Once  a  handkerchief  from  the 
breast  pocket  has  been  used  (after  the  spare  one  in  the  hip  pocket  has  been 
exhausted) ,  a  man  is  not  supposed  to  put  it  back  in  the  same  pocket,  because 
it  is  no  longer  suited  for  display  and  stuffing  it  down  out  of  sight  produces 
an  ugly  bulge.  The  Englishman  shoves  it  up  his  sleeve  (not  a  bad  idea),  but 
the  carefully  groomed  man  does  not  make  himself  a  walking  laundry  bag  by 
carrying  two  soiled  handkerchiefs.  He  shifts  one  to  the  bottom  of  his  brief 
case  or  his  desk  drawer,  to  be  taken  home  for  laundering.  A  man  who 
travels  a  lot  on  his  job  does  well  to  locate  a  good  hand  laundry  near  his 
office  where  he  can  have  laundered  the  extra  supply  of  handkerchiefs,  shirts, 
and  underwear  he  keeps  in  the  office  to  take  care  of  unexpected  out-of-town 
trips  or  freshenings-up  he  may  want  to  do  when  he  goes  directly  from  the 
office  to  a  social  engagement.  Even  the  very  young  executive  can  usually 
find  a  bottom  desk  drawer  or  the  back  of  a  file  drawer— or,  better,  his 
locker— where  such  accessories  may  be  kept.  Let  him  not  be  embarrassed 
over  his  little  caches— some  top  executives  keep  entire  wardrobe  changes 
in  their  private  offices  and  have  dressing  rooms  attached  to  private  baths, 
where  they  may  groom  themselves  as  is  expected  of  them. 

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PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

initials  on  handkerchiefs  I  like  initials  or  monograms  (two  or  more  initials) 
when  they  are  not  too  ostentatious,  because  they  give  a  custom-made  look 
to  clothes.  And,  as  this  is  the  function  of  initials,  they  should  never  be 
machine  done.  In  buying  handkerchiefs  be  sure  the  initials  are  hand- 
embroidered  and  the  hems  hand-whipped  or  hemstitched,  the  material  of 
good  quality.  A  man  spoils  the  effect  of  otherwise  good  grooming  by  bring- 
ing out  a  handkerchief  that  is  sleazy  or  not  immaculately  clean.  If  a  man  asks 
a  woman  what  constitutes  good  quality  in  handkerchiefs  she  will  gladly 
show  him  what  to  look  for  in  buying  his  own.  Then  he  might  go  through 
his  present  collection  and  consign  to  use  in  spading  the  garden  all  those  he 
bought  in  vending  machines  when  he  ran  out  of  handkerchiefs  on  various 
business  trips.  Or  give  them  to  his  young  son  whose  ability  to  lose  all  hand- 
kerchiefs promptly  will  solve  the  problem  of  how  to  get  rid  of  them. 

initials  on  clothes  and  various  articles  The  rule  for  monogramming  or 
initialing  of  handkerchiefs  applies,  too,  to  those  on  shirts,  pajamas,  and 
leather  articles.  Initials  should  never  be  ostentatious.  If  a  man  has  his  shirts 
custom-made  and  wants  a  monogram  in  white  or  color  ( and  it  should  never, 
in  this  case,  be  a  single  initial  [the  last  one]  as  is  often  used  on  handker- 
chiefs), he  might  have  it  put  on  the  sleeve  about  three  inches  above  the  cuff 
rather  than  on  the  shirt  front  or  pocket.  Two  or  three  little  block  initials- 
white,  maroon,  black,  gray,  or  blue,  preferred— are  better  than  a  scrolly 
monogram  with  an  embroidered  border.  Initials  on  leather  articles,  such  as 
a  brief  case  or  portfolio,  are  quite  functional  and  should  be  readily  readable, 
not  just  a  fancy  decoration.  As  only  a  man's  family,  intimate  friends,  or 
servants  see  him  in  his  pajamas,  he  might  have  a  fancy  monogram  in  any 
color  his  heart  desires,  if  he  wants.  It  is  usually  placed  on  the  left  breast 
pocket.  To  monogram  or  initial  everything  one  owns,  from  a  car  to  a  pipe, 
may  seem  feminine,  so  it's  a  good  idea  for  a  man  not  to  let  the  women  in  his 
family  overdo  it  in  giving  him  monogrammed  gifts. 

jewelry  What  jewelry  a  man  has  should  be  of  precious  metal,  good,  simple 
design,  and  as  expensive  as  his  pocketbook  permits.  When  he  adds  up  the 
sums  he  has  paid  for  the  male  equivalent  of  "junk  jewelry"— tie  clasps,  tie 
pins,  tricky  cuff  links,  make-do  studs,  collar  buttons,  and  watch  chains, 
all  of  which  eventually  lose  their  plating  or  drop  their  ersatz  stones— he  will 
see  that  the  gradual  acquisition  of  good  jewelry  is  good  business  as  well  as 
good  taste.  Before  hurrying  into  the  nearest  men's  shop  and  paying  five 
dollars  or  more  for  brightly  plated  cuff  links,  because  the  last  pair,  costing 
the  same,  looks  like  something  from  the  dime  store,  he  might  look  through 
the  jewelry  his  father  or  grandfather  wore.  He  may  find  a  beautiful  pair 
of  heavy  gold  links  or  some  intricately  enameled  ones  that  he  couldn't  buy 
today  from  a  dealer  in  antique  jewelry  for  a  hundred  dollars  or  more.  These 
"old-fashioned"  things  are  often  in  far  better  taste  than  the  machine-made 
jewelry  most  men  must  wear,  either  for  lack  of  the  price  of  anything  better 
or  because  they  don't  know  that  heirlooms  like  these  are  never  out  of  fashion. 

155 


Today  a  man  doesn't  wear  diamond  rings  or  stickpins,  but  he  may  find  an 
old-fashioned  stickpin  that  will  be  really  distinguished  in  an  Ascot  tie- 
even  if  it  does  have  a  tiny  diamond  somewhere  in  the  setting.  Never  discard 
these  things  on  the  ground  they're  not  "modern." 

If  a  young  man's  social  life  is  relatively  limited  by  the  exigencies  of  bring- 
ing up  a  family,  he  might  consider  that  some  day  he  may  be  a  man  whose 
clothes  are  all  made  to  order  and  who  will  be  able  to  find  the  leisure  for  the 
kind  of  social  life  that  almost  requires  such  niceties  as  real  jewelry.  Grand- 
father's heavy  gold  watch  chain  may  not  look  like  the  delicate  platinum  one 
someone  else  received  when  he  served  as  best  man  at  that  expensive  wed- 
ding, but  it  will  have  meaning  to  a  grandson  and  even  give  him  a  little 
edge  over  the  young  man  whose  grandfather  had  no  gold  watch  chain  to 
leave  him  and  who  has  had  to  work  up  to  a  platinum  one  himself. 

A  man  with  a  big,  long-fingered  hand  can  wear  a  ring  better  than  the 
man  with  a  short  pudgy  one.  If  he  has  an  antique  seal  ring— usually  heavy 
gold  with  a  coat  of  arms  or  a  well-devised  monogram— it  may  be  worn 
on  the  little  finger  of  either  hand,  although  he's  less  likely  to  wince  in  hand- 
shaking with  hearty  individuals  if  he  wears  it  on  the  left  hand.  A  ring  with 
a  stone,  if  worn  at  all,  should  be  flat  and  preferably  unfaceted,  set  in  a  simple 
gold  setting.  Some  class  or  fraternity  rings  are  so  badly  designed  that  a  man 
often  discards  them  a  few  years  after  graduation.  There  is  no  reason  why 
when  a  very  young  man  demands  a  ring  (usually  as  he  enters  prep  school) 
that  it  can't  be  tasteful  enough  for  him  to  wear  throughout  his  lifetime  if 
he  wishes.  To  be  avoided  are  such  things  as  "Chinese  style"  initials,  imitation 
rubies,  garnets,  or  emeralds  set  in  the  signet.  If  the  ring  is  not  going  to  be 
especially  made  for  the  boy  don't  overlook  the  pawn  shops  or  the  little 
jewelers  who  sell  antique  jewelry.  There  may  be  found  the  kind  of  man's 
ring  (or  studs  or  watch  chain)  of  which  he  will  never  cease  to  be  proud. 

Wedding  rings  for  men  came  into  considerable  use  during  World  War  II, 
and  it  is  probable  that  the  men  who  started  wearing  them  will  continue 
to  do  so  and  so  influence  later  bridegrooms  to  follow  suit.  It  used  to  be 
thought  incorrect  for  a  man  to  wear  his  wedding  band  on  any  but  the 
little  finger  of  his  right  hand,  but  the  modern  wedding-ringed  husband 
prefers  the  same  finger  the  bride's  ring  circles— the  fourth  finger  of  the  left 
hand.  And  it  does  seem  to  me  that  his  wearing  it  there  does  make  it  seem 
unmistakable  that  he  is  a  "married  man." 

Rings  worn  on  the  index  finger  or  on  the  second  finger  are  just  plain 
theatrical  and  affected,  no  matter  how  they  were  worn  in  Victorian  days. 

Watches  and  cigarette  cases  may  be  gold,  silver,  enamel,  steel,  or  platinum, 
and  the  cigarette  cases  should  not  be  set  with  precious  or  semi-precious 
stones.  Wrist  watches,  unless  of  delicate  design  and  without  a  leather  strap, 
are  less  likely  to  be  worn  with  evening  clothes.  Instead,  a  thin  watch,  in 
gold  or  platinum,  on  a  thin  gold  or  platinum  chain  (or  grandfather's  good 
gold  chain,  which  may  be  monumental  but  impressive)  is  worn.  If  any  ill- 
advised  woman  should  try  to  give  a  man  a  platinum  chain  with  tiny 

156 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 


diamonds  between  the  links,  he  should  return  it  to  the  jeweler  who  was 
talked  into  making  it  and  go  to  Palm  Beach  on  the  proceeds  or  put  them 
on  the  nearest  fast  horse. 


BAD   WEATHER    WEAR 

Whenever  possible,  waterproofed  shoes  are  preferable  to  rubbers  for  street 
wear  in  bad  weather,  but  where  rubbers  are  necessary  the  kind  that  covers 
just  the  sole  of  the  shoe  certainly  looks  better.  For  heavy  duty  in  the  country, 
elk-hide  boots  are  more  attractive  than  bulky  galoshes,  but  the  latter  must 
be  the  choice  of  the  commuter  in  snowy  weather.  Raincoats  and  hats  (or 
plastic  protectors  over  hats)  are  more  practical  than  umbrellas,  but  there  are 
times  when  every  man  needs  to  carry  an  umbrella.  It  should  be  large  and 
black  with  a  wooden  crook  handle  and  should  be  carried  furled  in  its  case 
when  not  in  actual  use.  It  may  have  a  gold  or  silver  initialed  band  on  the 
shank  of  the  handle. 

the  raincoat  The  good  old  British  raincoat,  belted  trench-coat  style  or  fly- 
front,  has  been  taken  to  the  heart  of  the  American  male,  who,  like  his 
English  cousin,  wears  it  as  a  light  extra  topcoat  in  the  city  or  country,  rain 
or  no  rain.  In  London  this  practice  makes  more  sense,  as  any  bright  day  is 
likely  to  turn  into  a  rainy  one  before  teatime,  anyway.  There  is  one  injunc- 
tion I  should  like  to  make— that  the  American  not  wear  his  raincoat  when  it 
is  so  dirty  it  embarrasses  the  women  he  escorts.  An  Englishman  feels  that  his 
raincoat  must  be  dirty— in  fact,  I  am  sure  he  tramps  on  a  new  one  before  he 
wears  it  for  the  first  time— but  in  the  United  States  a  dirty  raincoat  is  just  a 
sign  of  careless  grooming.  In  fact,  it's  just  as  repulsive  as  any  other  garment 
worn  once  too  often. 


WHAT  EVERY  MAN   SHOULD  KNOW  ABOUT  VESTS,   SOCKS,   AND   SHOES 

The  vest  is,  quite  obviously  from  the  look  of  the  back  of  it,  a  piece  of 
apparel  to  be  worn  under  a  coat.  If  a  man  does  remove  his  coat,  when 
given  permission  to  do  so  for  reasons  of  comfort,  he  should  remove  the 
vest,  too.  If  he  is  wearing  suspenders  it  is  better  to  keep  his  coat  on  or, 
if  he  happens  to  have  on  a  belt,  too,  to  unhitch  the  suspenders  when  he 
removes  coat  and  vest.  A  coatless  man  is  more  agreeable  to  the  eye  than  one 
in  a  vest  or  one  whose  suspenders  show.  Need  anything  be  said  about  the 
abhorrent  custom  of  wearing  sleeve  bands?  If  a  man  can't  buy  shirts  that  are 
the  right  sleeve  length,  he  should  have  the  sleeves  shortened  or  have  fewer 
but  better  shirts,  custom-made. 

White  cotton  or  lisle  socks  are  never  worn  except  with  white  shoes  or 
sneakers.  Heavy  white  wool  socks,  on  the  contrary,  may  be  worn  with 
country  shoes  and  clothes— with  tweeds,  flannels,  linen  suits,  or  wool  slacks— 
and  for  active  sports.  Argyle  socks,  even  the  most  vivid  patterns,  have 
invaded  urban  areas  and  may  be  worn  quite  appropriately  with  such  busi- 

157 


ness  suits  as  Glen  plaids,  wools,  cheviots,  flannels,  and  tweeds.  Socks 
should  be  chosen  with  an  eye  to  the  tie  worn,  but  exact  matches  are  more 
cautious  than  interesting. 

shoes  There  was  a  time  when  a  rigidly  well-dressed  man  would  have  looked 
askance  at  the  wearing  of  brown  shoes  with  a  blue  suit.  The  ultra-conserva- 
tive still  wear  black  shoes  with  a  blue  suit,  but  brown  are  certainly  correct, 
and  with  any  tweed  or  rough-surface  mixture  more  suitable,  in  my  opinion. 
I'll  grant  that  a  hard-surface  blue  serge  might  conceivably  limit  one  to 
black  shoes. 

Brown  shoes  are  also  worn  with  all  the  varieties  of  gray  with  the  exception  of 
Oxford  which  looks  better  accompanied  by  black.  Gray  suits  are  more 
conservatively  teamed  with  black  shoes,  but  the  combination  would  be 
unthinkable  in  the  country,  which  is  definitely  brown  shoe  terrain. 

Sudde  shoes  in  brown  reverse  calf  or  buckskin  are  permissible  in  the  city  with 
tweeds,  and  the  monk  shoe,  moccasin  and  rough  brogue,  once  solely  country 
foot  covering,  are  now  seen  in  the  city  with  tweeds  or  slacks. 

White  shoes  are  certainly  not  a  good  choice  for  town  wear,  because  they  soil 
immediately.  The  same  is  true  of  brown  and  white  sport  shoes.  It  is  difficult 
to  find  a  shoe  that  looks  right  with  the  informality  of  the  summer  suit  made 
of  seersucker  or  the  various  cotton  mixtures  so  needed  in  our  cities  in  hot 
weather.  The  monk's  shoe  or  the  moccasin  seem  nearest  to  being  acceptable, 
especially  as  the  cotton  suit  coats  are  now  often  worn  with  gray  or  brown- 
tone  flannels  or  with  gabardine  slacks  in  a  variety  of  muted  colors  from  sand 
and  grayed  greens  to  slate  blue.  Black-and-white  shoes,  while  they  are  still 
made  for  the  best  men's  shops,  are  somewhat  theatrical  and  pretty 
Victorian. 

Formal  shoes  fall  into  two  categories,  the  patent,  bowed,  dancing  pump,  and  the 
laced  patent  evening  oxford.  The  pumps  are  worn  with  tails,  at  home  with 
a  smoking  jacket,  or  with  a  dinner  jacket.  They  are  preferred  over  the 
other  types  when  the  wearer  expects  to  dance.  The  laced  patents  should 
not  be  pointed  in  toe  or  spade,  and  they  look  better  without  a  toe  cap. 
Black  oxfords  worn  with  morning  coat  should  have  a  plain  tip  and  preferably 
should  be  calf,  avoiding  the  heavy-duty  look  of  black  street  oxfords.  These 
are  the  shoes  in  which  a  man  is  married  when  he  dons  the  full  regalia  of 
a  morning  coat.  Patent  shoes  of  any  sort  would  seem  too  frivolous  for  such 
an  occasion.  Nor  are  they  suitable  for  funerals. 


THE  HATLESS  AND  GLOVELESS  MAN 

Frequently  in  winter  you  see  even  well-dressed  men  going  gloveless  and 
hatless.  Perhaps  they  feel  hardier  that  way,  but  an  ungloved  hand  is,  in  the 
winter,  usually  a  chapped  and  roughened  one.  For  summer  there  are  avail- 
able loose,  stitched,  cotton  chamois  gloves,  which  give  a  finished  look  to 

158 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND  MANNERS 

the  costume  and  keep  hands  from  getting  grimy  in  the  city.  Only  the  man 
whose  hair  stays  put  should  attempt  to  go  hatless  in  town.  If  he  has  no 
hair,  letting  the  sun  beat  down  on  his  pate  doesn't  stimulate  the  hair  follicles, 
it  seems.  And  he'll  probably  look  better-dressed  wearing  either  a  light-weight 
felt,  a  panama,  or  some  kind  of  straw  hat.  The  traditional  sailor  is  becom- 
ing to  any  man  with  a  good  figure,  medium  to  tall  in  height,  and  preferably 
with  a  long  or  oval  face.  But  let  him  be  careful  not  to  choose  one  with  a  band 
associated  with  a  club  or  fraternity  to  which  he  does  not  belong.  These 
color  combinations  can't  be  patented  by  the  organizations  in  question,  but 
wearing  such  a  band  when  not  entitled  to  do  so  makes  one  seem  like  a  gate 
crasher.  Before  a  man  buys  a  band,  he  would  do  well  to  ask  the  clerk  if  it 
does  belong  to  some  specific  goup.  Adorning  a  hat  band  with  fish  flies 
or  bright  litle  feathers  is  amusing  for  country  wear  or,  if  he's  the  type  and 
can  afford  it,  he  may  choose  bands  made  entirely  of  pheasant  feathers— but 
only  for  sports  wear. 

Needless  to  say,  going  hatless  to  formal  affairs,  to  city  weddings,  to 
funerals,  even  to  business  calls  is  not  very  appropriate.  Yes,  there  are  men 
who  affect  a  certain  boyishness  by  going  hatless  winter  and  summer,  rain 
or  shine,  but  if  a  man  wears  a  suitable  hat,  he  is  always  right.  This  can't 
be  said  if  he  barges  in  everywhere  hatless.  Especially  if  he  accompanies  a 
well-turned-out  woman. 


WHEN    NOT   TO    WEAR    EVENING    CLOTHES 

It  is  not  correct— no  matter  what  you  occasionally  see— for  a  man  to  wear 
dinner  jacket  or  tail  coat  in  the  daytime  unless,  perhaps,  he's  being  buried! 
(And  to  follow  up  this  lugubrious  aside,  if  the  family  does  decide  to  attire 
the  deceased  in  formal  clothes,  it  should  give  him  the  dignity  of  full  evening 
dress  for  a  night  funeral  and  of  a  morning  coat  in  the  daytime.  A  tuxedo 
doesn't  seem  quite  right.) 

The  only  other  possible  uses  for  evening  wear  in  the  daytime  are  an 
audience  with  the  Pope  and  certain  Continental  State  functions  when  full 
evening  dress  is  worn,  not  a  tuxedo.  Evening  clothes  should  not  be  worn 
before  six  o'clock,  unless,  for  example,  a  man  is  leaving  the  city  for  a  sub- 
urban dinner  or  vice  versa  and  can  change  only  at  home.  But  even  this 
means  he  would  be  likely  to  emerge  in  his  bedecked  state  between  five  and 
six.  The  ideal  is  not  to  appear  in  dinner  or  evening  clothes  in  broad  daylight, 
although  in  spring  and  summer  this  is  usually  quite  unavoidable. 

A  tuxedo,  essen  dally  a  frivolous  garment,  should  not  be  worn  in  church 
for  any  reason.  For  a  night  wedding,  even  at  home,  full  dress  should  be 
worn  by  members  of  the  wedding  party,  unless  they  prefer  the  alternative 
jf  dark  sack  suits.  In  summer  they  may  wear  white  flannels  with  blue  coats 
or  for  an  evening  garden  wedding,  white  dinner  jackets. 


159 


WHEN    WHITE    FLANNELS    OR   PASTEL   DOESKINS   MAY   NOT  BE   WORN 

A  man  should  not  wear  easily  soiled  trousers,  such  as  white  flannels  or 
pale-colored  doeskins,  in  the  city  or  on  a  train.  Possible  exceptions  might 
be  some  urban,  outdoor  activity  such  as  dancing  on  the  Mall  in  Central 
Park  or  a  Stadium  concert  if  he's  going  on  foot  or  by  car  or  taxi.  Flannels 
are  worn,  at  least  by  the  host  or  by  house  guests,  in  a  penthouse,  because 
of  its  pseudo-rural  atmosphere.  The  trousers  will  get  even  more  sooty  on 
the  penthouse  terrace  than  they  would  on  a  train,  but  the  fun  of  a  pent- 
house is  its  carefully  nurtured  atmosphere  of  country  or  at  least  suburban 
living. 

WEARING    DECORATIONS 

the  legion  of  honor  Most  countries  grant  various  orders  to  distinguished 
citizens  and  non-citizens  who  have  performed  some  outstanding  service  to 
the  State.  Among  those  often  seen  internationally  are  the  various  buttons  and 
ribbon  of  the  French  Legion  of  Honor  (Legion  d'honneur). 

There  are  five  grades  of  the  Legion  of  Honor,  each  distinguished  by  its 
insigne  as  follows: 

First  Grade,  Knight  (Chevalier) :  Red  ribbon  at  buttonhole,  worn  from 
the  buttonhole  to  the  outer  edge  of  the  left  lapel. 

Second  Grade,  Officer  (Officier):  Red  rosette  in  buttonhole. 

Third  Grade,  Commander    (Commandeur):    Red  rosette  on  silver  bar. 

Fourth  Grade,  Grand  Officer  (Grand  Officier) :  Red  rosette  on  silver  and 
gold  grosgrain  covered  bar. 

Fifth  Grade,  Grand  Cross  (Grand  Croix),  highest  rank:  Red  rosette  on 
gold  grosgrain  covered  bar. 

The  highest  rank  that  women  achieve  in  the  Legion  of  Honor  is  that  of 
Commander  (Commandeur).  Women  wear  the  red  ribbon  of  the  Knight  on 
tailored  suits,  sewn  on  the  left  lapel  just  as  men  do.  On  street  dresses  they 
may  wear  it  through  the  collar  or  neckline  on  the  left  side. 

The  insigne  of  Commander  is  pinned  to  the  left  shoulder  as  flowers 
would  be. 

For  formal  wear,  women  Commanders  wear  a  white-lacquered  five-pointed 
star  on  a  circlet  of  gold  attached  to  a  large  red  ribbon  worn  necklace  fashion. 

Male  Commanders  for  formal  wear  wear  the  same  cross  on  a  gold  circlet 
on  a  large  red  ribbon  tied  around  the  neck  beneath  the  white  tie. 

The  Grand  Officer  has  for  formal  wear  a  ten-pointed  silver  plaque  worn 
on  the  left  side  of  the  breast.  The  Grand  Cross  (generally  given  to  sovereigns 
and  chiefs  of  state,  occasionally  to  commanders  in  chief)  is  worn  with  red 
sash  draped  across  the  chest  from  right  to  left. 

Holders  of  various  ranks  of  the  Legion  of  Honor  may  use  the  following 
designations  or  initials  after  their  names :  Knight  ^  ;  Officer  ( O. )  ^t ;  Com- 
mander (C.)  #;  Grand  Officer  (G.  O.)   jfc;  Grand  Cross  (G.  C). 
160 


PART  TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNK.K3 

rules  for  wearing  decorations  by  civilians  A  U.S.  civilian  possessing  any 
U.S.  war  decoration  wears  it  on  the  left  side,  always  above  those  granted 
him  by  any  other  country.1  Other  decorations  are  worn  in  the  order  in 
which  they  are  received,  except  that  those  of  any  one  country  are  always 
grouped  together.  This  is  true  even  when  one  has  been  received  after  a 
decoration  from  another  country  has  been  awarded. 

The  possessor  of  many  decorations  need  not  wear  them  all  at  the  same 
time  on  formal  occasions.  But  an  American  possessing  an  American  decora- 
tion wears  it  at  any  time  that  he  also  wears  a  foreign  one,  with,  as  has  been 
noted,  the  American  one  always  taking  precedence. 

American  decorations  are  worn  in  order  of  their  particular  importance, 
irrespective  of  when  they  were  bestowed.  Foreign  decorations  are  worn 
in  order  of  their  bestowal,  irrespective  of  their  relative  importance. 

The  rule  that  foreign  decorations  are  worn  according  to  order  of  bestowal 
has  the  following  exception:  at  a  reception  or  dinner  abroad  in  honor  of  a 
foreign  official  or  any  distinguished  citizen  of  a  foreign  nation,  any  decora- 
tion an  American  has  received  from  that  country  takes  precedence  over  his 
other  foreign  decorations  for  the  occasion. 


CHAPTER    EIGHTEEN 

WHAT'S  WHAT  IN  VARIOUS  SPORTS 


GOLF 


Golf  courses  fall  into  two  categories,  the  private  club  to  which  one  must  be 
invited  by  a  member  and  the  public  course  open  to  all  upon  payment  of 
a  fixed  green  fee  and  caddy  fee.  On  both  public  and  private  courses  the 
caddy  fee  varies  greatly  as  does  the  green  fee. 

At  a  private  club  guests  usually  pay  their  own  green  fee  and  caddy  fee. 
At  the  "nineteenth  hole"  (the  bar)  it  is  usual  among  men  for  the  loser  or 
losers  to  pay  for  a  round  of  drinks,  but  often  each  player  picks  up  his  own 
check. 

Exceptions:  The  Medal  of  Honor  and  the  Presidential  Citation  ribbon  are  worn 
on  the  right.  With  evening  dress  the  Medal  of  Honor  is  worn  on  a  broad  blue 
ribbon  around  the  neck,  hanging  just  below  the  tie.  The  Presidential  Citation 
ribbon  is  worn,  by  both  men  and  women,  on  the  right,  in  miniature,  for  full  eve- 
ning dress.  The  Navy,  in  uniform,  wears  even  these  decorations  on  the  left. 

161 


At  the  first  tee  there  is  no  special  order  of  precedence  except  that  a  guest 
or  guests  would  be  asked  to  tee  off  first  and  a  woman  or  older  player  would 
usually  be  given  the  first  drive.  Thereafter,  the  winner  tees  off  first.  Some- 
times on  crowded  courses,  when  eight  or  ten  players  arrive  at  the  first  tee 
at  once,  there  is  a  ball  slide  into  which  players  are  expected  to  place  their 
first  ball  as  they  step  onto  the  green.  When  their  ball  emerges  it  is  their 
turn  to  tee  off.  This  system  was  devised  to  obviate  dissension  at  the  first 
tee.  A  player  who  is  unaware  that  it  is  used,  however,  and  who  does  not  put 
his  ball  in  the  slide  may  miss  out  on  the  play  entirely  or  at  least  be  delayed. 

Two  players  supposedly  take  precedence  over  a  foursome,  which  must 
necessarily  play  much  more  slowly.  It  is  good  golf  manners  for  a  foursome 
to  allow  a  twosome  to  go  through.  On  the  other  hand,  a  twosome  that  is 
playing  a  leisurely  game  always  permits  a  businesslike  foursome  to  play 
through.  Any  other  combination  of  players,  from  the  lone  golfer  to  the 
"gang"— over  four— must  allow  the  twosome  or  the  foursome  precedence. 
On  many  courses,  especially  public  ones,  only  twosomes  or  foursomes  are 
permitted  on  crowded  week  ends. 

Even  non-golfers  should  know  the  rules  concerning  quiet  as  a  player  tees 
off.  Other  players  should  stand  still— not  even  make  practice  swings  with 
their  clubs  nor  speak  to  their  caddies  as  another  player  addresses  the  ball. 
When  a  ball  is  lost  other  players  in  the  group  help  look  for  it,  but  the  search 
is  never  drawn  out  to  such  an  extent  as  to  hold  up  the  play— a  few  minutes 
is  enough.  If  he  wishes,  a  player  who  has  lost  a  ball  may  go  on  to  the  next 
hole,  leaving  his  caddy  to  make  a  further  search. 

Great  care  must  be  taken  not  to  tee  off  when  others  are  in  line  with  what 
a  player  hopes  will  be  the  flight  of  the  ball  and  certainly  never  until  the 
players  ahead  have  each  had  their  second  strokes.  The  warning  "fore"  may 
not  carry  sufficiently  against  even  a  light  wind.  It  should  be  used  infre- 
quently. Instead,  a  player  should  wait  until  goffers  immediately  ahead  are 
well  out  of  range. 

clothes  The  most  comfortable  trousers  for  golf  are  slacks,  usually  in  gray 
flannel  or  the  tannish  gabardines.  In  winter  a  regular  tucked-in  sport  shirt 
with  a  fight  pull-over  is  the  conservative  choice  with  the  slacks  in  pleasant 
weather.  In  cold  weather  a  windbreaker  or  leather  jacket  is  worn  over  a 
sport  shirt  with  or  without  the  addition  of  a  pull-over.  Socks,  summer  and 
winter,  are  best  in  wool,  argyle,  white  or  bright  colors  such  as  canary.  Hats 
are  always  of  the  sports  type,  a  snap-brim,  unbound  felt,  a  rough  straw,  a  cap 
or  a  turned  down  duck  hat  such  as  is  worn  sailing.  Shoes  should  be  rubber- 
soled  (not  sneakers)  or  regular  cleated  golf  shoes. 

In  hot  weather  loose  sport  shirts,  not  tucked  in,  in  conservative  solid 
colors  are  worn  by  some  (depends  on  the  man)  over  light,  often  blue,  linen 
or  duck  slacks.  Shorts  are  definitely  taboo,  and,  of  course,  neckties  if  worn 
must  be  suited  to  sport  shirts.  They  may  be  knit  wool,  cotton,  or  string  or 
perhaps  a  gay  cotton  bow  tie.  A  golf  tie  should  not  be  silk,  but  a  silk  choppa, 
knotted  beneath  the  collar  of  a  sport  shirt,  is  attractive  for  sports  wear. 
162 


PART    TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

TENNIS    AND    BADMINTON 

White  clothes  are  so  traditional  on  the  tennis  court  that  it  is  obvious  that 
there  must  be  a  reason  for  them.  Dark  colors,  even  in  light-weight  cotton 
or  other  fabrics,  under  a  beating  sun  would  absorb  the  rays,  while  white 
deflects  them.  That  is  why  white  clothing  is  worn  in  the  tropics.  The  extrava- 
gant white  flannel  trousers  that  used  to  be  de  rigueur  for  the  well-dressed 
tennist  are  certainly  dreadfully  hot,  despite  their  lack  of  color,  but  that  is 
because  of  the  weave  rather  than  the  weight  of  the  material— and  the  same 
may  be  said  of  the  white  ducks  that  have  always  been  considered  correct. 
In  tournaments— including  the  internationals— white  knee-length  shorts  are 
worn.  Any  comfortable  white  sport  shirt  or  a  polo  shirt  permitting  full  play 
in  the  shoulders  and  arms  is  worn  on  the  court  for  the  warm-up,  if  the  player 
wishes,  or  to  be  thrown  over  his  shoulders,  or  donned,  when  he  comes  off 
the  court.  White  wool  socks  are  preferred,  even  in  the  hottest  weather,  as 
affording  the  best  protection  to  the  feet  against  the  pounding  on  the  court. 
Wool  socks,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  are  superior  at  all  times  of  the  year  to  rayon, 
cotton,  or  nylon  for  any  active  wear,  because  they  allow  for  the  evaporation 
of  perspiration.  (Some  men  even  wear  very  sheer  black  wool  evening  socks, 
ribbed  or  plain,  for  dancing,  for  this  reason.) 

The  tennis  hat  is  usually  soft  white  duck,  sometimes  with  a  green  under- 
brim  to  protect  the  eyes  from  glare.  Such  hats  are  usually  washable,  al- 
though to  see  those  worn  by  most  men,  you  wouldn't  think  so.  Tennis  shoes 
are  the  flat,  rubber-soled,  heelless  ones  developed  originally  for  the  game. 
Wearing  any  other  type  of  shoe,  rubber-soled  or  not,  generally  calls  forth 
a  severe  reprimand  from  the  grounds  committee  and  removal  of  the 
offender  from  the  court. 

Lawn  tennis  courts  should  not  be  torn  up  by  leather  or  composition  soles, 
either,  but  rubber-soled  shoes  or  other  types  than  the  tennis  shoe  are  often 
worn  for  badminton. 

Many  men  prefer  the  knee-length  English  tennis  shorts,  in  white  or  sand, 
to  flannels  or  ducks  for  both  badminton  and  tennis.  They  are  comfortable 
and  look  well  on  most  men.  They  should  not  be  too  short.  An  initial  invest- 
ment in  shorts  of  excellent  quality,  properly  tailored  (they  are  usually  pleated 
at  the  belt-line  like  well-fitting  English  slacks)  will  mean  a  long-run  saving. 
In  buying  them,  look  for  durable,  closely  woven  material,  slide  fasteners, 
reinforced  seams,  sufficient  leg  length  to  cover  the  thigh  to  the  knee,  the 
absence  of  metal  on  fabric  belts  or  half-belts,  and  a  hem  that  is  generous 
enough  so  that  it  won't  fray  out  at  the  first  hard  laundering.  Don't  try  to  sub- 
stitute white  or  tan  bathing  shorts  for  tennis  shorts.  Really  proper  with  Eng- 
lish shorts  are  long  white  wool,  turn-over  socks  that  come  just  below  the  knee 
and  which  are  worn,  of  course,  without  garters.  The  alternative  is  the  white 
wool  anklet,  with  or  without  a  cuff.  Ordinary  length  white  wool  socks,  worn 
necessarily  without  garters,  look  sloppy  and  tend  to  ride  into  the  heel  of  the 
tennis  shoe. 

163 


behavior  on  the  tennis  court  A  sociologist— or  a  psychiatrist— could  glean 
considerable  information  about  any  tennis  player's  personality  defects  by 
watching  his  behavior  on  the  tennis  court.  There  is  something  about  this 
game  played  in  its  sun-baked,  circumscribed  area  with  its  inevitable  gallery 
that  spotlights  character  more  quickly  than  any  other  except  badminton.  In 
these  games  each  man  stands  revealed,  even  in  a  game  of  mixed  doubles. 
He  has  plenty  of  room  in  which  to  throw  a  tantrum— or  his  racket— lots  of 
space  in  which  to  yell  and  hurl  taunts  at  his  opponent,  many  opportunities 
to  cheat  when  there  is  no  referee  and  his  word  as  a  sportsman  and  gentle- 
man decides  whether  ball  or  shuttlecock  are  "in"  or  "out."  There  is  sufficient 
opportunity  for  watchers  to  observe  the  apologist  whose  "bum  serve"  is 
loudly  explained  by  all  kinds  of  things  except  his  lack  of  technical  skill  at 
the  game.  We  see  here  the  man  whose  anxiety  about  himself  carries  over 
to  the  court— a  man  who  doesn't  dare  to  lose  a  game  and  who,  if  he  does 
come  out  the  loser  at  the  end  of  the  set,  derives  none  of  the  relaxation  the 
game  should  supply,  but  only  adds  to  his  inner  anger  and  aggressions. 

People  cannot  be  taught  by  rules  alone  how  to  behave  in  any  game  so 
that  others  will  not  be  disturbed  and  inconvenienced  by  their  actions.  This 
is  because  what  a  man  is,  he  is  most  likely  to  express  in  the  way  he  plays, 
and  no  list  of  rules  is  going  to  change  the  unconscious  attitude  he  brings 
to  the  game.  But  if  he  can't  or  won't  get  in  tune  with  the  rules,  social  pres- 
sure usually  effects  his  compliance  with  them.  No  man  can  play  tennis, 
badminton,  or  table  tennis  by  himself,  as  he  can  play  golf,  hunt  rabbits,  or 
shoot  clay  pigeons.  He  needs  at  least  one  opponent,  and  if  he  is  consistently 
objectionable  as  a  player  he  finds  everyone  worthy  of  his  mettle  either 
hostilely  unwilling  to  play  with  him  or  else  having  other  commitments— 
often  suspiciously  far  into  the  future.  When  this  goes  on  too  long  an  intelli- 
gent man  finds  out  what's  wrong  with  himself,  the  boorish  one  quits  the  game 
—and  then  belittles  it— and  the  stupid  or  unyielding  one  resorts  to  playing 
with  the  professionals— at  a  fee— or  with  any  members  of  his  family  unable 
to  say  him  nay. 

Here,  then,  are  the  rules  of  the  tennis  or  badminton  court,  and  many  apply 
equally  well  to  many  other  sports— even  the  British  cricket.  In  fact,  the 
phrase  "it  isn't  cricket"  has  come  to  epitomize  all  things  unfair  and  uncom- 
fortable to  others  in  social,  political,  business,  and  even  amorous  behavior. 

1.  Come  decently  attired  to  the  court,  in  clean,  acceptable  clothes  ap- 
propriate to  the  game. 

2.  If  no  court  is  immediately  available,  await  your  turn  courteously,  mak- 
ing no  attempt  to  disturb  a  play  setup  until  a  set  has  been  completed  by 
those  in  possession  of  the  court  and  there  is  ample  indication  that  a  deter- 
mining set  is  not  to  follow.  If  a  set  of  singles  has  just  been  played,  any 
suggestion  that  the  court  be  given  over  to  doubles  must  come  from  the 
players  already  on  the  court,  although  on  a  crowded  day  any  considerate 
players  would  make  such  a  suggestion,  even  if  the  club  rules  didn't  require 
fair  sharing  of  the  courts  on  Saturdays,  Sundays,  and  holidays. 

164 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND   MANNERS 

3.  Inexperienced  players  should  not  demand  to  share  court  space  with 
crack  players  on  crowded  days,  but  should  team  up  with  those  in  their  own 
class.  If  week  ends  and  holidays  are  the  only  times  they  can  practice  or  learn 
the  game,  they  should  try  to  occupy  the  courts  either  very  early  or  late  or 
at  any  time  when  others  more  proficient  are  not  waiting  for  them.  But  fast, 
able  players,  in  turn,  should  be  satisfied  with  fewer  sets  on  busy  days.  If  they 
play  more  than  three,  they  should  break  up  the  foursome  to  include  some 
fresh  player  or  players. 

4.  Each  court  is  an  island.  Keep  your  activities  and  remarks  and  conver- 
sation within  it,  so  as  not  to  disturb  other  players  or  make  a  boiler  factory 
of  the  club  house  porch  or  the  side  lines.  Spectators,  presumably  dues- 
payers  too,  have  the  right  to  watch  the  game  without  being  jolted  by  loud 
hoots  of  triumph,  yells  of  despair,  swearing,  shouted  imprecations,  racket 
throwing,  or  other  unseemly  exhibitionism. 

5.  Toss  rackets  for  first  serve,  or  choose  any  other  method  of  deciding 
pleasantly  who  should  start  the  service,  but  don't  assume  the  service  your- 
self, unless  asked  to  do  so.  A  first  serve,  unless  you  know  your  opponent 
expects  and  can  meet  vigorous  competition  from  the  start,  should  be  a 
moderate  or  slow  one  to  indicate  that  this  is  a  pleasurable  game  of  give-and- 
take  you  are  initiating,  not  a  would-be  one-sided  slaughter. 

6.  If  the  sun  will  be  in  the  eyes  of  a  player  or  players  on  one  side  of  the 
net,  you  may  offer  to  take  the  sunny  side  in  the  initial  game  yourself,  es- 
pecially if  you  have  invited  your  opponent  to  play,  or  determine  the  side 
each  takes  by  toss. 

7.  Don't  alibi  your  game  in  any  way.  Play  as  well  as  you  can,  except  in  a 
friendly  game  against  a  decidedly  unworthy  opponent  and  then  if  you  do 
relax  out  of  fellowship  and  to  make  the  game  a  little  more  interesting  and 
encouraging  for  him— or  her— don't  be  offensively  obvious  about  it.  If  you 
let  anyone  beat  you— or  nearly  win— never  say  so.  Don't  take  the  wind  out 
of  the  other  fellow's  sails.  Leading  on  a  coming  player  this  way  may  develop 
him  into  exhilarating  competition  later  on,  to  your  own  advantage. 

8.  Be  a  cheerful  loser  and  a  modest  winner.  Don't  crow  over  your  tri- 
umphs or  sulk  or  exhibit  anger  over  your  defeat.  If  you  are  constantly  de- 
feated and  feel  angry  or  discouraged  about  it  to  such  a  degree  that  the  game 
is  not  a  pleasure  to  you  or  your  opponents,  take  more  lessons,  play  only 
with  other  players  in  your  class,  or  change  your  game  to  something  else  that 
suits  you  better  physically  or  emotionally  than  this  exacting,  competitive 
game.  Insisting  on  playing  a  game  for  which,  after  a  fair  amount  of  time, 
you  show  no  natural  aptitude  is  frustrating  to  you  and  annoying  to  all  but 
the  most  complacent  opponents. 

9.  While  spectators  have  their  rights,  they  also  are  subject  to  rules  guar- 
anteeing the  rights  of  the  players.  Spectators  should  make  no  comments, 
critical  or  otherwise,  from  the  side  lines  during  the  course  of  play.  They 
must  not  distract  the  players  by  invading  the  court  for  any  reason  or  dodging 
past  the  back  line  while  play  is  in  progress.  They  should  not  lean  on  the 

165 


posts,  climb  on  the  fence,  leave  the  gate  open,  or  touch  the  net.  They  should 
not  throw  anything  onto  a  court  or  behind  it— such  as  a  burned-out  cigarette 
—as  this  can  cause  a  player  to  fall  or  miss  a  shot.  Drunkenness  is  no  more 
desirable  on  a  club  porch  than  it  is  on  the  court  itself.  The  function  of  a 
tennis  club  is  to  provide  playing  opportunities  for  members  who  expect  to 
play  tennis.  Any  spectators  there  happen  to  be,  from  small  boys  to  old 
gaffers,  must  respect  the  players'  right  to  play  without  interference  or  dis- 
traction from  the  gallery. 

10.  When  you  ask  your  opponent  to  keep  the  score  you  have  no  alterna- 
tive but  to  accept  his  count.  If  you  know  he  has  colored  the  scoring  to  favor 
his  own  side,  you  are  privileged  not  to  play  with  him  again  or,  at  least,  not 
to  permit  him  to  keep  score  again,  but  don't  make  an  issue  of  it  publicly  or 
even  privately. 

11.  At  game  and  set,  thank  your  opponents  or  opponent.  You  needn't 
apologize  for  winning  nor  explain  why  you  lost— a  matter  that  is  usually 
obvious  enough.  It's  not  necessary,  Wimbledon  style,  to  leap  over  the  net  to 
show  the  winner  how  magnanimous  you  feel  about  being  trounced.  In  fact, 
easy  give— and  especially— easy  take  seems  the  essence  of  good  sportsmanship 
in  social  games.  Even  where  stiff  competition  for  the  sake  of  a  cup  or  other 
honor  is  involved  the  same  rules  of  courtesy  hold  sway. 


YACHTING 

The  word  "yacht"  comes  from  the  Dutch  verb  jagen,  to  hunt.  Essentially  a 
yacht  is  a  pleasure  craft,  a  light  sailing  vessel  meant  for  racing,  but  the 
term  can  refer  to  any  pleasure  craft  that  is  not  propelled  by  oars,  whether 
it  derives  its  power  from  the  wind  or  from  steam  or  electric  power. 

Anything  over  one  hundred  feet  is  technically  a  ship.  All  sailboats— with 
the  exception  of  skiffs  (light  rowing  or  skulling  boats)— are  correctly  called 
yachts,  but  seasoned  yachtsmen  casually  refer  to  anything  under  sail  as  a 
"boat"  and  to  themselves  as  "sailors."  To  refer  to  one's  own  sailboat,  what- 
ever its  size,  as  a  yacht,  seems  pretentious,  even  though,  again  technically, 
a  boat  is  actually  a  dinghy,  a  launch,  tender,  rowboat  or  skiff,  none  of 
which  is  in  the  yachting,  or  racing  class. 

There  are  numerous  yacht  classes,  some  distinguished  by  the  class  mark 
on  the  mainsail— the  Star,  International,  Atlantic,  Lightning,  all  racing  classes 
—several  by  meters  and  others  by  their  length.  Yachts  of  the  same  class 
usually  race  together  or,  if  they  are  unevenly  matched,  they  are  raced  on  a 
handicap  basis. 

A  fanatical  sailor  spurns  any  auxiliary  power  in  a  sailboat,  preferring  to 
get  in  and  out  of  harbors  and  yacht  basins  under  sail  and  to  take  his  chances 
on  a  homeward-bound  wind.  When  yachtsmen  become  fathers  and  there  are 
children  aboard  to  consider,  this  fanaticism  is  often  tempered  for  a  time 
and  a  "kicker"  is  added  to  the  gear— at  least  until  the  children  can  be  taught 
to  sail. 

166 


PART  TWO      DRESS   AND   MAlfNERS 

•  Because  the  space  aboard  a  yacht  is  circumscribed,  the  rule  of  the  sea 
concerning  neatness  must  be  observed  by  guests.  Everything  must  be  ship- 
shape. No  one  should  come  aboard  a  yacht  with  a  stiff  suitcase.  Stowable 
gear  is  always  canvas.  Guests  on  any  owner-sailed  yacht  should  be  prepared 
either  to  lend  a  hand  or  to  find  a  way  to  keep  out  of  the  way,  especially  at 
those  crucial  times  when  the  sails  are  being  hoisted  or  lowered,  the  course 
is  being  changed,  or  a  jib  is  being  broken  out.  Guests  who  have  never  been 
on  the  sea  before  can  learn  to  do  the  small  jobs  such  as  pumping  out  the 
bilge  or  polishing  the  bright  work. 

Smoking  aboard  a  small  boat  must  be  limited  to  the  times  when  the  boat 
is  on  its  course— that  is,  for  working  hands.  Cigarettes  must  not  be  thrown 
on  the  decks  and  stamped  out  or  tossed  over  on  the  windward  side,  which 
would  cause  the  sparks  to  fly  back  aboard.  Garbage,  too,  must  never  be 
disposed  of  to  windward  or,  of  course,  in  a  yacht  basin  or  harbor. 

On  large  yachts  with  a  paid  hand  and  crew,  guests  do  not  fraternize.  Their 
relations  with  the  crew  are  formal,  and  they  call  the  men  by  their  last  names. 
A  professional  captain  is  called  by  his  title  and  is  treated  with  respect  due 
his  highly  technical  calling.  On  a  very  large  yacht  the  stewards  who  attend 
the  cabins  and  saloon  are  called  either  by  their  last  names  or  simply  "stew- 
ard." 

yachting  clothes  What  one  wears  aboard  depends  on  the  size  of  the  yacht 
and  where  it  is  tied  up. 

A  man  invited  to  lunch  or  dine  aboard  a  large  yacht  (with  a  saloon  and 
cabins )  tied  up  at  a  city  club  would  wear  just  what  he  would  wear  in  town. 
If  he  is  to  join  the  same  yacht  at  an  out-of-town  mooring  he  would  wear 
suitable  country  clothes  and  rubber-  or  rope-soled  shoes  and  some  kind  of 
cap  or  hat  that  would  not  blow  off  in  a  wind.  Warm  sweaters,  even  in  mild 
weather,  are  essential  and  shorts,  preferably  of  the  longer  variety,  often  com- 
fortable, but  they  should  be  worn  with  knee-length,  cuffed  wool  socks. 

On  smaller  yachts  under  fifty  feet,  or  even  on  those  over  fifty  feet  where 
there  is  no  paid  crew,  male  guests  (and  sometimes  female  ones)  should  be 
prepared  to  lend  a  hand.  This  requires  hardy  clothts— never  span  new  ones. 
Duck,  sailcloth,  or  denim  trousers  are  best  with  T-shirts  and  pull-over  sweat- 
ers, pea  jackets,  or  wind-resistant  jackets.  For  sailing  in  sloppy  weather 
parkas  are  ideal;  otherwise  a  raincoat,  preferably  an  oilskin  with  hat,  is  a 
necessity.  Socks  are  best  in  white  or  light  wool.  Sunglasses  or  a  sun-peak  cap 
are  advisable  as  a  shield  against  the  glare.  Sunburn  cream  or  lotion  is  needed, 
too,  unless  the  skin  has  acquired  a  protective  tan,  for  sunburn  hazard  is  far 
greater  on  the  water  than  on  land.  If  the  boat  is  very  small,  it  is  a  good  idea 
for  a  man  to  wear  bathing  trunks  under  his  trousers,  if  he  plans  to  swim. 
No  one,  needless  to  say,  should  dive  overboard  except  from  the  stern  or 
sides  of  the  boat  and  then  only  with  the  captain's  permission  and  only,  too, 
when  there  is  a  tow  line  out  the  back  if  the  boat  is  under  sail.  At  all  times 
the  captain  is  responsible  for  the  safety  of  the  passengers. 

167 


CUSTOMS,    DRESS,    AND    TABOOS    IN    OTHER    SPORTS 

Sportsmen  have  very  stiff  notions  of  what  constitutes  a  gentleman,  and 
unless  you  know  these  shibboleths  you  may  be  guilty,  in  your  enthusiasm 
over  a  sport  new  to  you,  of  offending,  of  being  classified  as  a  boor  rather 
than,  more  fairly,  as  a  mere  ignoramus.  Sportsmen  are  notably  intolerant 
about  non-conformist  behavior. 

In  playing  all  games  and  pursuing  all  sports  in  a  team  or  group  you  must 
abide  by  the  accepted  rules— unless,  of  course,  the  majority  of  players  or 
participators  agrees  to  relax  the  rules  in  some  way  or  adopt  other  ones  pro 
cem.  For  example  (to  the  horror  of  experts),  on  our  own  badminton  court, 
we  prefer  to  score  in  the  manner  of  ping-pong  rather  than  use  the  regulation 
scoring  as  set  down  by  the  American  Badminton  Association.  We  do  this 
because  we  think  the  ping-pong  scoring  speeds  up  the  game  and  is  easier 
to  keep  track  of  for  both  spectators  and  players.  But  on  neighbors'  courts 
where  the  usual  rules  are  well-established,  we  follow  them  and  allow  our 
host  the  privilege  of  keeping  the  more  complicated  score. 

When  swimming,  you  do  not  swim  beneath  the  diving  board,  for  reasons 
that  should  be  perfectly  obvious,  or  jump  off  a  raft  into  the  midst  of  water- 
treading  or  floating  bathers— instead  you  slip  off  backwards  to  create  the 
least  possible  backwash.  On  most  beaches  bathing  trunks  without  tops  are 
now  permitted,  as  are  the  briefest  of  trunks.  A  man  should  be  perfectly 
objective  about  his  figure,  however,  before  deciding  in  favor  of  extremely 
attenuated  costumes. 

Swimming  in  the  same  ocean  does  not  give  a  man  the  right  to  force  his 
conversation  or  attentions  on  other— usually  feminine— swimmers  or  sun 
bathers.  Exhibitions  of  water-splashing,  porpoising,  wrestling,  and  sand- 
throwing,  often  engaged  in  by  very  young  men  to  attract  feminine  attention, 
usually  make  them  offensive  in  the  very  eyes  of  those  they  seek  to  attract, 
and  certainly  make  them  loathsome  to  the  run-of-the-beach  bather  in  search 
of  a  little  peace. 

There  are  various  sports  followed  solo  or  in  groups  or  teams,  for  which 
unwritten  rules  exist.  If  you  hunt  in  the  deer-shooting  season,  for  example, 
you  must  not  wear  a  white  shirt  or  show  a  white  handkerchief— or  anything 
else  white,  for  that  matter— for  it  might  be  mistaken  for  that  little  patch  of 
white  on  a  deer's  tail  and  so  call  forth  a  shot  by  another  hunter  stalking 
game  in  the  same  terrain.  Loud  talking  or  even  noisy  movements  that 
frighten  away  the  game  limit  not  only  your  own  possibility  of  making  a 
kill  but  that  of  other  hunters.  In  bagging  small  game,  such  as  partridge  or 
grouse,  determine  the  legal  limit  before  setting  out  and  stay  within  it.  It 
is  not  good  sportsmanship  to  go  over  the  permitted  bag,  even  when  there  is 
little  possibility  of  being  caught  at  it.  In  shooting  small  game,  never  fire 
until  the  birds  are  on  the  wing,  never  shoot  down  a  treed  animal  or  one  in 
cover,  never  horse  in  a  fish  without  playing  him  on  the  line— give  all  a  sport- 
ing chance  to  escape.  In  a  wild  turkey  shoot,  the  sportsmen  often  camp 

168 


PART  TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

under  the  trees  in  which  the  birds  have  roosted  for  the  night,  but  any  man 
who  tried  to  wing  one  before  it  left  the  roost  would  be  considered  no  gentle- 
man. When  you  are  working  with  dogs,  wait  until  they  have  flushed  the 
birds  well  out  of  cover  and  never  shoot  too  low  or  you  may  pepper  the  dogs 
instead  of  the  birds. 

Guns,  even  in  the  hands  of  experts,  are  dangerous  weapons.  Look  well 
before  you  aim,  check  the  position  of  others  in  the  party  before  you  shoot. 
Carry  guns,  when  not  actively  hunting  or  shooting,  with  the  safety  catch  on. 
In  the  field,  except  when  actually  shooting,  and  en  route,  carry  them  with 
the  muzzle  down  or  with  the  gun  over  the  shoulder  with  muzzle  pointing 
up,  or  "break"  the  gun.  Unload  your  gun  when  you  enter  the  shooting  wagon 
or  car  and  when  you  stack  it.  Never  lean  on  a  gun. 

In  shooting  with  dogs,  give  orders  only  to  your  own.  If  another  hunter's 
dog  retrieves  for  you  by  mistake,  don't  take  the  bird  from  him  yourself.  Ask 
the  owner  or  the  handler  to  do  so,  as  game  retrieved  by  a  dog  is  considered 
the  property  of  the  dog's  master  rather  than  of  the  man  who  shot  it  down. 
Also,  a  hunting  dog  must,  more  than  any  other,  be  a  "one  man  dog."  He  is 
not  a  pet  in  the  usual  sense  but  a  work  dog  and  should  receive  his  orders 
and  his  commendations  only  from  his  owner  or  handler,  from  whom  he  is 
trained  to  expect  both.  Shooting  is  like  tennis  in  one  respect— you  don't  take 
another  man's  shot.  If  a  bird  comes  within  range  of  another  huntsman's 
gun,  leave  it  to  him.  Don't  "reach"  for  it,  even  though  you,  as  a  better  marks- 
man, are  certain  he  will  miss  it. 

CLOTHES  FOR  HUNTING  AND  SHOOTING 

Comfortable,  loose-fitting  clothes— corduroys,  flannel  shirts— are  wanted.  A 
red  hat,  a  patch  of  red  for  the  sleeve  or  back  of  a  jacket,  or  even  a  red  hand- 
kerchief knotted  around  the  cap,  is  a  necessary  safety  device.  High-laced 
boots,  waterproofed,  are  needed  for  marshlands  and  snake  country.  Other- 
wise any  heavy,  comfortable  shoes  cushioned  by  wool  socks  will  do.  A  hunter 
who  goes  into  a  blind  inadequately  prepared  to  withstand  hours  of  cold  and 
damp  will  be  persona  non  grata.  If  you  have  never  owned  long  woolen  un- 
derwear, prepare  to  wear  it  now— and  if  you're  a  novice,  maybe  two  pairs  are 
better  than  one.  A  man  in  a  blind  who  complains  unendingly  of  the  cold 
because  he  isn't  dressed  for  it  is  in  the  same  class  as  the  pariah  who  ruins 
the  fishing  trip  because  he  has  not  developed  the  fisherman's  quiet  philoso- 
phy of  "watchful  waiting"  and  can't  sit  still  for  what  may  prove  to  be  fruit- 
less hours  without  a  catch. 

In  fishing  and  in  duck  hunting,  you  hear  much  about  the  need  for  being 
quiet  so  as  not  to  frighten  off  the  quarry.  Low  conversation  is  permissible  in 
deep-sea  fishing  but  not  in  surface  fishing,  as  fish  can  hear  and  they  feel 
vibrations  such  as  are  made  by  throwing  an  empty  beer  bottle  into  the  water, 
by  rocking  the  boat,  by  banging  of  any  sort.  Ducks'  hearing  is  very  acute, 
even  when  they  are  high  above  the  blind.  Fish  take  fright  at  violent  move- 
ment, if  they  are  surface  swimmers.  It  takes  a  certain  philosophical  state  of 

169 


mind,  a  rigid  self-control  to  make  one  a  good  fisherman  or  duck  hunter, 
and  especially  an  acceptable  companion  in  these  enterprises. 

In  the  matter  of  terminology,  one  "shoots"  other  birds  but  "hunts"  ducks. 
You  "hunt"  deer  and  other  four-footed  game.  The  serious  hunter  and  fisher- 
man may  cling  to  the  superstition— as  does  the  actor  stepping  on-stage— that 
you  spoil  his  luck  if  you  wish  him  good  luck  as  he  starts  out. 

distress  signal     People  handling  guns  should  know  the  distress  signal— three 
shots  fired  at  three-second  intervals. 


SKIING    AND    SKATING 

The  traditional  ski  costume  consists  of  special  baggy  leg,  ankle-hugging  ski 
pants  with  elastic  that  goes  under  the  arch  of  the  foot  to  hold  the  pants  in 
the  heavy  ski  boots.  The  idea  is  to  keep  them  both  warm  and  dry,  so  the  new 
water-  and  wind-resistant  fabrics  of  treated  cotton  are  more  effective  than 
plain  wool.  A  coat,  sometimes  hooded,  of  matching  material  is  worn  over 
a  wool  shirt  or  sweater.  A  ski  cap  with  ear  tabs  is  a  requisite,  too,  as  are  two 
pair  of  thick  wool  socks  (these  are  put  on  before  the  trousers  are  put  on), 
and  warm,  gauntleted  mittens  or  gloves  in  wool  are  worn  underneath.  The 
outside  gloves  or  mittens  are  of  water-repellent  cloth.  The  pants  are  always 
tapered  and  have  a  razor-edged  crease  in  front.  The  ski  outfit  for  both  men 
and  women  is  good  for  many  other  winter  sports  such  as  tobogganing,  out- 
door skating,  and  hiking  on  snow-covered  roads. 

Skiing  requires  careful  instruction  from  professionals  or  friends.  The  tyro 
skier  is  a  menace  to  himself  and  others  if  he  blunders  onto  a  difficult  run 
or  discards  his  poles  Swedish  style  before  he  is  ready.  He  must  do  his 
practicing  on  the  simpler  slopes  and  behave  as  modestly  as  the  beginner 
in  other  sports  in  the  presence  of  accomplished  skiers.  It  is  tiring  for  one 
whose  muscles  are  unaccustomed  to  the  effort,  but  the  beginner  must 
herringbone  up  the  slopes  or  use  the  ski  or  rope  tow  and  not  walk  up, 
breaking  the  crust  and  making  the  slope  perilous  or  unusable  for  others. 
As  he  makes  his  precipitous  way  down  the  trail,  he  shouts  "track"  to  warn 
others  of  his  approach.  On  the  slalom  run,  when  he  graduates  to  it,  he  is 
thoughtful  to  put  back  any  gate  poles  he  dislodges— right  away,  not  on  his 
ascent.  His  conduct  on  the  ski  tow  or  rope  tow  should  say  very  plainly,  "I'm 
a  beginner  and  I  want  to  learn  the  rules  of  this  sport."  If  in  his  embarrass- 
ment at  being  a  beginner  he  acts  the  cutup,  he  will  be  considered  crass,  to 
say  the  least.  Generally  speaking,  this  is  a  sport  that  must  be  learned  on 
locale,  although  it  is  sometimes  possible  to  take  a  few  lessons  from  profes- 
sionals indoors.  If  you  decide  to  learn  to  ski,  don't  spoil  the  fun  of  pro- 
fessional skiers  or  of  others  out  of  your  strictly  amateur  class.  Mind  your  own 
quiet  business  and  take  your  lessons  seriously,  or  there  is  a  fine  chance  that 
you  may  break  your  neck. 

Almost  anyone  can  skate  if  he  has  strong  ankles.  I've  seen  babies  skating 
almost  as  soon  as  they  learned  to  walk,  and  I've  seen  men  and  women  in 

170 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

their  seventies  showing  a  gay  blade.  It  all  depends  on  how  you  go  about  it. 
There's  always  the  skater  who  looks  as  if  he's  skating  to  a  fire— round  and 
round  he  races,  frightening  all  the  timid  ones.  There's  the  old  gentleman  in 
the  middle  of  the  rink  performing  graceful  figure  eights  and  bothering  no 
one.  There's  the  little  boy  on  the  double  runners  shuffling  a  foot  or  two  at 
a  time  while  clutching  desperately  at  a  hockey  stick  held  by  his  father. 

The  clothes  you  wear  for  skating  should  be  warm  wool  or  wind-resistant 
and  waterproof  material.  Skates  attached  to  shoes  are  safer  than  the  kind 
you  attach  yourself  and,  of  course,  better-looking.  An  older  man  may  cling 
to  his  knickers  for  skating,  and  at  that  they  are  more  comfortable  for  the 
purpose  than  cuffed  tweed  trousers,  I  am  sure.  A  young  man  wears  ski  pants 
or  slacks. 

On  an  indoor  rink  you  soon  find  your  place  among  the  slow  or  fast  skaters 
—the  fast  ones  are  usually  on  the  outside  of  the  rink,  and  heaven  help  you  if 
you  stray  in  their  path.  As  on  the  street,  a  man  takes  the  outside  position 
when  he's  accompanying  a  lady.  Tripping  a  skater  through  your  own  awk- 
wardness or  foolish  interference  is  grounds  for  mayhem.  Loud  shouting  or 
games  of  tag  disturb  the  philosophical  skaters  on  a  metropolitan  indoor  or 
outdoor  rink,  and  usually  an  official  puts  a  stop  to  them  if  they  occur.  If  you 
cut  any  capers,  be  sure  they  are  graceful  ones  that  will  be  appreciated  by 
the  inevitable  onlookers. 


CHAPTER    NINETEEN 

THE  WELL-GROOMED  MAN 


The  well-groomed  man  looks  clean,  his  clothes  fit  him  comfortably,  his 
shoes  are  well  shined  and  their  heels  in  good  order,  his  tie  is  neatly  tied  so 
that  it  covers  the  collar  joining  and  the  short  end  lies  well  under  the  longer 
one  if  he's  wearing  a  four-in-hand.  If  he  ties  his  tie  in  a  Windsor  knot,  the 
knot  should  be  small  and  tidy,  not  theatrically  large.  If  he  wears  a  bow  tie, 
it  should  be  solidly  foursquare,  not  a  droopy  little  blob  or  with  the  ends 
tucked  under  the  collar. 

If  he  can  help  it,  the  well-groomed  man  never  wears  a  suit  the  second  day 
without  having  it  pressed,  unless  it  is  of  a  material— such  as  tweed— or  a 
nylon  or  other  synthetic  mixture  which  shakes  out  overnight.  To  facilitate 
this,  he  hangs  his  trousers  over  the  bar  of  a  valet  stand  when  he  takes  them 
off  or  puts  them  immediately  in  their  hanger— one  for  each  pair  of  trousers. 
His  coat  is  hung  on  a  hanger  or  on  the  valet  stand  and  buttoned  so  it  will 
fall  into  shape. 

171 


A  fastidious  man  never  wears  the  same  underwear  or  socks  the  second 
day,  and  he  is  never  without  a  clean  handkerchief.  He  keeps  his  nails  clean 
and  short  with  the  cuticle  pushed  back.  If  he  has  his  nails  professionally 
manicured,  they  may  be  buffed  but  should  never  have  any  colored  or  even 
colorless  polish  applied. 

A  man  who's  unduly  hirsute  should  have  his  barber  clip  the  hairs  in  his 
ears  and  nostrils  (but,  of  course,  for  safety's  sake,  never  tweeze  them).  If 
his  eyebrows  run  rampant  they  can  be  cautiously  weeded  out  to  give  him  a 
more  groomed  appearance,  although  any  tweezing  should  be  restricted  to 
stray  eyebrows  or  to  the  heavy  hairs  between  the  brows— a  man's  brow  line 
should  never  be  thinned  or  obviously  shaped. 

For  the  man  with  the  blue  jowl  there  seems  to  be  no  other  course  than 
that  of  a  twice-daily  shave.  Powder  doesn't  really  cover  that  bristle.  The 
husband  who  gives  himself  a  shaving  holiday  on  a  day  at  home  is  in  the 
same  class  as  the  wife  who  doesn't  put  on  her  make-up  or  take  her  hair  out 
of  curlers  until  afternoon. 

The  well-groomed  man  never  allows  his  hair  to  get  so  shaggy  his  new 
haircut  is  all  too  apparent.  His  hair  is  trimmed  as  often  as  necessary  to  keep 
it  from  colliding  with  his  collar  or  his  ears.  He  has  it  scissor-trimmed,  not 
clipped,  so  as  to  avoid  an  ugly  ridge  across  the  back  of  his  head.  His  side- 
burns are  worn  short  but  should  be  scissored  rather  than  closely  clipped  or 
shaved.  They  are  needed  to  give  balance  to  his  face.  If  he  is  bald  he  should 
realize  that  letting  his  side  or  back  hair  grow  long  enough  to  drape  stickily 
over  the  bald  spot  deceives  no  one  and  usually  produces  a  peculiar  parting 
in  the  hair.  And,  let  him  be  sure  his  bald  pate  is  washed  as  often  as  he 
washes  his  face,  because  it  is  just  as  vulnerable  to  dirt. 

I  have  a  particularly  soft  spot  for  bald-headed  men  because  so  many  of 
them  suffer  so  obviously  and  needlessly  from  what  they  consider  a  handicap. 
Anthropologists  have  pointed  out  that  baldness  is  often  hereditary,  that  it  is 
a  very  male  type  of  complaint  because  usually  it  comes  from  overactivity  of 
the  pituitary  gland,  one  of  the  glands  that  make  men  men.  Scientists  have 
pointed  out,  too,  that  eunuchs  are  very  seldom  bald.  On  the  other  hand, 
we  associate  luxuriant  hair  with  femininity.  And  satyrs  are  depicted  as  bald. 
Perhaps  women's  intuition  tells  her  these  things,  because  you  rarely  find  a 
wife  concerned  over  the  baldness  of  her  husband.  If  he  could  understand 
this,  he  would  sweep  his  hat  off  on  the  street,  not  lift  it  timidly  or  touch 
the  brim  in  an  effort  to  keep  his  secret  shame  to  himself.  And  when  he  goes 
to  a  photographer,  he  will  not  insist  on  being  photographed  with  his  hat  on 
—a  dead  giveaway.  Instead,  he  will  get  help  in  making  up  his  bald  spot  for 
the  occasion,  so  that  it  will  not  be  high-lighted  in  the  picture.  Any  woman 
can  show  him  how  this  is  painlessly  and  quickly  done. 

Some  men  perspire  quite  heavily,  winter  and  summer.  If  this  perspiration 
is  excessive  enough  to  stain  his  suits  under  the  arm  a  man  should  have  re- 
course to  any  of  the  commercially  available  deodorants  and  perspiration 
checks  offered  for  both  men's  and  women's  use.  (If  hatbands  show  perspira- 

172 


PART  TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

tion  marks  they  should  be  changed  as  often  as  necessary.)  Daily  or  some- 
times twice-daily  baths  or  showers  should  be  routine  for  any  man,  but  for 
the  heavy  perspirer  they  are  obligatory.  No  cologne  or  powder  can  possibly 
cover  the  need  of  thorough  daily  cleansing. 

Mention  of  cologne  brings  me  to  the  observation  that  custom  has  changed 
in  this  respect,  too.  A  few  years  back  no  American  he-man  would  have  con- 
sidered using  a  bit  of  cologne  on  his  handkkerchief  or  after  his  bath.  A  man 
didn't  use  perfumes— or  so  he  pretended.  But  American  men,  nevertheless, 
were  inundated  in  a  sea  of  ill-blended  effluvia— violet  hair  tonic,  mint,  lilac, 
or  carnation  after-shave  lotion,  lilies  of  the  valley  or  some  such  in  their 
talcum,  pine  or  geraniums  in  their  bath  soap.  Now  there  are  matched  sets 
of  these  preparations  for  men  or  mercifully  odorless  items  that  won't  conflict 
with  a  little  good-quality  men's  cologne.  True  cologne,  spicy  and  fresh,  was 
always  used  by  well-groomed  men  and  women  abroad,  and  there  are  many 
muted  odors  that  suit  even  the  most  masculine  male  a  lot  better  than  do 
the  violent  odors  in  many  popular  hair  tonics  and  lotions.  Used  restrainedly, 
simple  colognes  and  toilet  waters  of  the  spicy  variety  (one  at  a  time)  are 
attractive  for  men  and  increase  the  impression  of  careful  grooming. 

Most  men's  hair  does  need  some  dressing  to  keep  it  in  place,  but  daily 
application  of  such  preparations  eventually  leaves  the  hair  heavy,  sticky, 
and  inclined  to  pick  up  odors  of  tobacco  smoke,  even  if  a  man  doesn't  smoke 
himself.  If  these  various  pomatums  aren't  shampooed  out  once  a  week,  on 
a  minimum,  they  may  even  take  on  a  rancidity,  of  which  the  gentleman  may 
be  quite  unconscious.  Every  shower  should  have  handy  to  it  a  bottle  of  sham- 
poo. Just  letting  the  shower  soak  the  slightly  soaped  hair  is  not  enough. 
Hair  that  has  been  heavily  oiled  needs  several  soapings  and  rinsings.  Using 
liquid  castile  or  a  detergent  shampoo  prevents  bits  of  soap  from  sticking 
to  the  hair. 

The  man  who  wants  to  make  the  proper  appearance  wears  clean  clothes 
always— even  those  items  which  by  come  are  considered  proper  only  if  well 
dirtied  up.  Most  men  look  better  after  their  new  hats  begin  to  conform  to 
the  shape  of  their  heads,  but  the  battered  old  hat,  no  matter  how  Jear  to 
the  wearer,  contributes  a  careless  rather  than  the  hoped-for  casual  effect. 
As  for  shirts,  they  must  be  clean  daily.  It  is  good  for  a  man  to  cultivate  a 
very  necessary  vanity— the  kind  that  is  well  this  side  of  fussiness,  of  course. 

My  grandfather  used  to  say  that  he  judged  a  man  by  his  shoes.  Perhaps 
he  was  saying  that  our  external  effect  is  often  the  only  one  most  people  see 
and  judge  us  by. 

It  takes  time  and  care  for  a  man  to  dress  well.  He  can't  do  so  if  he  throws 
his  clothes  over  a  chair  at  night  and  gets  up  so  late  in  the  morning  he  hasn't 
time  to  give  any  thought  to  what  he'll  put  on.  He  grabs  a  shirt  from  the 
drawer,  puts  it  on  before  choosing  his  suit  for  the  day,  lifts  a  tie  from  the 
rack  with  no  consideration  for  his  socks,  shoves  his  feet  into  his  untreed 
shoes  without  undoing  the  laces,  gulps  his  breakfast,  hustles  into  his  top- 
coat—which hasn't  been  pressed  all  season— puts  on  his  hat  and  is  off.  His 

173 


pockets  are  bulging  with  yesterday's  handkerchiefs,  his  heels  need  lifts,  his 
hat  could  do  with  a  blocking  or  at  least  a  brushing.  He's  a  pretty  average 
American  businessman.  If  he  ever  does  catch  sight  of  himself  in  the  mirror, 
he  decides  that  nothing  can  be  done  about  it  anyway.  He  hasn't  a  valet,  he 
hasn't  time,  and  very  probably— or  so  he  imagines— hasn't  the  money. 

One  of  the  best-dressed  men  I  know  went  through  a  period,  after  years 
of  military  service,  when  he  had  two  presentable  suits,  one  pair  of  gray  flan- 
nels, a  sport  jacket,  two  pairs  of  shoes,  one  tie,  a  gabardine  raincoat,  and  a 
snap  brim  brown  hat.  The  clothes  he  had  he  bought  with  great  care  and 
paid  as  much  for  each  item  as  his  budget  could  stand.  His  shirts  were  all 
light  blue,  both  suits  gray— one  a  flannel  and  the  other  a  fine  Glen  plaid.  His 
tie  was  blue,  red,  and  white,  always  pressed,  always  spotless,  and  worn  with 
the  air  of  a  club  tie  whose  style  and  color  would  always  be  the  same,  too. 
His  hair  was  always  well-trimmed— and  he  learned  to  trim  it  himself  to  save 
money.  He  alternated  the  wearing  of  his  two  pairs  of  shoes  and  kept  them 
handsomely  shined  and  carefully  repaired.  His  handkerchiefs  were  plain 
white  linen,  always  fresh.  His  clean  shirts  he  hung  on  hangers  to  keep  the 
collar  tabs  and  the  cuffs  from  rumpling. 

There  is  more  to  good  grooming  than  good,  clean  clothes,  of  course,  but 
cleanliness,  neatness  in  dress  has  much  to  do  with  the  outer  integration  of 
the  man.  Taste  in  dress  is  innate  in  some,  acquired  in  others— but  it  can  be 
had  by  any  man  who  wants  it.  Top  business  and  professional  men  usually 
dress  well  because  certain  standards  of  dress  are  set  them  by  the  circles  in 
which  they  move.  But  money  alone  doesn't  determine  the  final  effect. 

cosmetic  defects  There  are  men  who,  if  they  look  in  the  mirror  except  to 
shave,  either  fail  to  notice  certain  obvious  cosmetic  defects  or  else  think  that 
it  is  effeminate  to  consider  them  seriously.  Among  these  are  chapped  lips, 
blackheads,  pimples,  unsightly  moles,  dirty,  stained  teeth,  and  scaly  scalp. 
Ordinary  yellow  vaseline  or  a  bit  of  cold  cream  applied  nightly  or  in  the 
morning  will  relieve  chapped  and  cracked  lips.  Blackheads  and  pimples  may 
be  in  the  province  of  a  dermatologist  if  they  are  very  evident,  but  thorough 
scrubbing  of  the  face  with  hot  water  and  plenty  of  soap  at  least  once  a  day 
may  stimulate  the  skin  so  it  can  police  itself.  A  good  barber  or  a  loving  wife 
using  a  sterile  comedo  extractor  and  a  hot  towel  can  keep  blackheads  at  bay 
if  utmost  care  is  taken.  Pimples  should  not  be  opened,  especially  on  the  face, 
as  a  resulting  infection  can  be  serious.  Instead  they  should  be  dried  up  with 
a  lotion  or  salve  for  the  purpose.  If  true  acne  occurs,  see  a  doctor  about  a 
possible  change  in  diet  or  other  corrective  regimen.  A  diet  high  in  fats  and 
carbohydrates  can  cause  this  unsightly  disfigurement.  Moles,  especially  if 
they  interfere  with  shaving,  should  be  removed  surgically  or  by  the  electric 
spark  or  other  accepted  method  by  a  regular  doctor  treating  such  things,  not 
by  a  barber  or  cosmetician.  Barber  treatments  of  really  serious  scalp  disorders 
will  probably  make  the  situation  worse.  All  scalps  are  somewhat  scaly.  Vigor- 
ous daily  brushing  with  clean  brushes  help  carry  this  flaky  refuse  off,  as  does 

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PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

a  careful  weekly  shampoo.  Even  a  bachelor  can  learn  to  clean  his  combs  and 
brushes  as  often  as  necessary  in  a  solution  of  ammonia  and  cold  water. 

unattractive  teeth  Some  teeth  gather  tartar  because  of  smoking,  some  be- 
cause of  improper  and  hurried  cleaning,  and  some  for  reasons  no  dentist 
can  determine.  Teeth  that  do  stain  in  this  way  should  be  professonally 
cleaned,  probably  every  three  months,  otherwise  the  tartar  gathers  mouth 
acids,  causes  unpleasant  breath,  and,  if  not  removed,  can  loosen  teeth  by 
causing  pyorrhea.  Aside  from  this  medical  reason  for  having  clean  teeth, 
there  is  certainly  the  cosmetic  and  social  one.  You  may  have  the  kind  of 
teeth  that  don't  show  when  you  smile  or  talk,  but  they  do  show— perhaps  in 
all  their  dreariness— when  you  laugh.  And  your  breath  depends  on  the  con- 
dition of  your  mouth  and  teeth  to  an  important  extent.  Offense  here  can  have 
a  deleterious  effect  on  business,  social,  and,  yes,  especially  love  life.  Don't 
let  your  oral  hygiene  go  unchecked.  See  your  dentist  and  dental  hygienist 
as  often  as  they  deem  necessary  and  learn,  as  an  adult,  how  to  wash  your 
teeth  and  how  to  keep  the  spaces  between  your  teeth  free  of  food  particles 
through  the  use  of  dental  floss  or  dental  picks  (the  professional  kind  den- 
tists suggest)  preferably  after  each  meal.  There  is  no  nostrum  that  can  dis- 
guise the  need  for  dental  attention  or  hygiene. 

THE  BACHELOR'S  SOCIAL  PROBLEMS 

At  first  glance,  from  a  feminine  standpoint  at  least,  the  bachelor  seems  to 
have  no  problems  whatsoever.  He  may  be  fat,  bald,  poor,  homely,  and  dull, 
but  someone  will  corral  him  as  a  dinner  partner.  The  bachelor  to  the  des- 
perate hostess  seems  as  rare  and  wondrous  as  the  cigar  store  Indian  and  as 
worthy  of  collecting.  A  hostess  without  an  almost  inexhaustible  list  of  fairly 
presentable  bachelors  on  her  list  is  really  up  against  it. 

The  superior,  highly  eligible  bachelor,  of  course,  needs  but  to  keep  him- 
self in  clothes.  Just  enough  to  cover  him  decently,  at  that.  Unlike  his  unmar- 
ried sister,  he  need  give  no  thought  at  all  to  his  appearance,  as  his  appearance 
at  all  is  enough.  Everyone  knows  that  a  man  can  always  marry  even  if  he 
reaches  102,  is  penniless,  and  has  all  faculties  gone.  There  is  always  some 
woman  willing  to  take  a  chance  on  him. 

However,  bachelors,  I  am  told,  really  do  have  problems.  One  of  them 
told  me  all  hostesses  treat  all  bachelors  like  supernumeraries.  "They  invite 
me  to  fill  in  at  their  dinners  at  the  last  minute,  never  thinking  I  might  like, 
for  once,  to  bring  a  girl  of  my  own.  I  always  get  stuck  with  someone's  un- 
wanted relative.  I  am  expected  to  fetch  her  and  take  her  home.  And  act 
exhilarated  during  the  proceedings." 

Bachelors  tell  me,  too,  that  motheriy  women  assume  they  are  lonely, 
especially  over  week  ends,  and  invite  them  to  spend  such  free  time  in  the 
child-ridden  country  or  suburbs,  but  neither  provide  attractive,  young,  fem- 
inine company  nor  suggest  that  they  bring  some  along. 

It  can  be  very  expensive  to  be  a  bachelor  if  the  young  ladies  he  escorts 

175 


insist  on  going  to  night  clubs  and  to  the  to-be-seen-in  restaurants.  If  he  says 
frankly  he  can't  afford  such  places  a  girl  with  any  sense  will  settle  for  places 
he  can  afford.  Actually,  he  may  sensibly  return  to  the  time-honored  custom 
of  calling  on  a  girl  at  home  and  leaving  the  responsibility  of  feeding  her  up 
to  her  parents. 


CHAPTER    TWENTY 

A  MAN'S  MANNERS  IN  THE  BUSINESS  WORLD 


The  encouraging  thing  about  etiquette  is  that  it  can  be  learned,  that  it 
doesn't  necessarily  have  to  be  bred  in  the  bone— though  that  is,  of  course, 
the  way  it  would  come  easiest. 

Professor  Arthur  M.  Schlesinger  of  Harvard  in  a  learned  discussion  of 
etiquette  throughout  American  history  points  out  that  Andrew  Jackson, 
elected  to  the  presidency  in  1828,  was  our  first  President  not  in  the  Adams- 
Washington  aristocratic  tradition.  He  was  the  son  of  a  desperately  poor 
Scotch-Irish  immigrant,  who  through  native  ability  rose  to  highest  office, 
correcting  his  rough  manners  as  he  went  along  to  such  a  degree  that,  as 
Schlesinger  puts  it,  he  "excited  the  admiration  of  both  friend  and  foe  by  his 
urbane  and  courtly  demeanor." 

Knowledge  and  instinctive  practice  of  accepted  good  manners  does  not, 
of  course,  make  the  gentleman.  A  real  gentleman,  a  man  with  a  heart  for  the 
kind,  considerate,  decent  thing  may  have  no  manners  at  all,  in  the  usual 
sense.  Polished  manners  and  a  scurrilous  character  can  well  be  encountered 
in  the  same  individual— just  as  a  man  may  dress  like  a  gentleman  as  a  result 
of  careful  imitation,  yet  be  far  from  a  gentleman  in  his  daily  actions.  At  the 
same  time,  it  is  highly  desirable  from  a  social  and  business  point  of  view 
for  every  man  to  know  and  practice  the  accepted  manners  of  his  time— to 
err,  perhaps,  on  the  side  of  punctiliousness  in  such  things. 

Learning  to  make  good  manners  almost  innate  makes  fife  easier  at  home 
and  in  business.  Young  men  who  want  to  become  executive  material  must 
do  more  than  apply  themselves  to  the  technique  of  their  jobs.  They  must 
school  themselves  in  social  as  well  as  in  business  manners  if  they  want  to 
get  ahead.  They  must  learn  how  to  dress,  how  to  conduct  themselves  on 
various  social  and  business  occasions,  how  to  communicate  their  ideas  to 
others  in  concise,  well-chosen  language. 

We  have  all  known  successful  businessmen  whose  grammar  was  bad, 
whose  taste  in  clothes  was  atrocious,  and  who  broke  every  rule  of  good 

176 


PART  TWO      DRESS   AND  MANNERS 

manners,  if  indeed  they  knew  any  existed.  But  this  is  doing  it  the  hard  way. 
It  takes  considerable  business  or  professional  genius  to  overcome  the  de- 
structive effect  of  boorishness  and  uncouthness.  Top  executives,  if  they  must 
endure  these  drawbacks  in  a  key  man,  are  uncomfortable  and  apologetic 
concerning  him.  Often  such  a  man  is  replaced,  if  he  can  be,  with  another 
who  fits  more  smoothly  into  a  growing  business.  The  day  of  the  hell-for- 
leather  individualist  in  American  business  is  passing,  if  it  isn't  completely 
over. 

I  have  often  noticed  that  the  great  corporations  invariably  practice  a  most 
formal  business  etiquette.  Their  facade  is  imposing,  they  employ  well- 
dressed,  soft-spoken  receptionists,  they  provide  private  offices  and  interoffice 
communications  to  cut  down  unnecessary  noise  and  traffic.  They  usually 
exercise  considerable  control  over  the  behavior  and  appearance  of  their 
employees  for  the  sake  of  improved  efficiency  and  of  their  public  relations. 

In  such  offices  you  don't  see  men  put  their  feet  on  desks  or  sit  around 
with  their  hats  on  and  their  coats  off— although  in  some  offices  there  is  re- 
laxation concerning  coats  during  the  hot  weather.  But  even  so,  employees 
are  expected  to  don  their  coats  when  leaving  their  desks  to  welcome  visitors, 
to  go  elsewhere  in  the  building,  or  to  attend  conferences.  In  the  latter  case, 
they  may  remove  them  again  at  the  invitation  of  their  superiors  and  with 
the  permission  of  any  women  executives  present 


WHEN    DOES    A    MAN    RISE? 

Gone  are  the  days  of  the  quill  pen  and  communication  by  letter  only.  Busi- 
ness pace  is  fast,  and  the  courtly  manners  of  old-time  business  offices  are 
often  impractical  now  and  few  expect  them. 

In  business  a  man  does  not  rise  when  his  secretary  enters  his  office  to  take 
dictation,  although  if  she  is  newly  assigned  to  him  as  his  personal  secretary 
he  does  rise  to  greet  her  and  to  shake  her  hand  if  she  offers  it. 

He  rises  if  he  has  a  woman  caller— unless  she  is  a  job  applicant  for  a  non- 
executive position.  If  he  is  on  the  telephone  or  dictating  when  she  enters, 
he  nods,  indicates  a  chair,  and  rises  when  he  has  concluded  his  conversation, 
which  he  makes  as  brief  as  circumstances  permit.  If  he  must  receive  other 
phone  calls,  during  the  course  of  the  interview,  he  excuses  himself  each 
time  for  the  necessary  interruption. 

If  he  is  at  his  desk  and  a  superior,  man  or  woman,  enters,  he  rises  and 
waits  until  he  is  asked  to  be  seated  again  or  the  caller  leaves. 

If  a  male  co-worker  enters  his  office,  he  does  not  rise  unless,  perhaps,  to 
greet  him  after  an  absence,  for  gentlemen  always  rise  to  shake  hands— even 
with  a  man— or  excuse  themselves  for  being  unable  to  do  so  for  some  reason. 

It  is  courteous  for  a  man  to  rise  for  any  man  caller  except  a  job  applicant 
in  the  non-executive  capacity.  He  certainly  rises  for  all  "gentlemen  of  the 
cloth"  and  for  men  very  much  older  than  himself,  although,  if  seated,  he 
may  acknowledge  an  introduction  to  another  contemporary  joining  a  group 

177 


of  men,  merely  by  nodding  or  saying  anything  that  seems  to  come  naturally 
such  as  "Happy  to  see  you  here,"  or  "Nice  to  see  you,"  or  even  a  smiling 
"Hello." 

If  a  woman  executive  is  in  the  group  joined  by  a  man,  the  man  who  makes 
the  introduction  rises,  unless  he  is  the  chairman  (who  may  remain  seated  by 
virtue  of  his  dignified  position),  as  do  the  other  men  at  the  meeting  if  the 
group  is  of  a  reasonable  size.  Otherwise,  only  the  men  in  the  immediate 
vicinity  of  the  woman  to  be  seated  rise  for  specific  introductions  if  any  are 
necessary.  If  an  introduction  would  interrupt  the  meeting,  the  man  next  to 
the  nearest  chair  rises  to  seat  the  woman,  unless  he  is  in  the  midst  of  a  re- 
port or  discussion.  A  general  introduction  of  the  woman  to  the  group  may 
be  made,  if  convenient,  by  the  chair,  "Gentlemen,  this  is  Miss  Helena  Coyle, 
from  our  advertising  agency."  In  such  introductions  it  would  only  cause 
confusion  for  all  to  rise. 


WHO    PRECEDES    WHOM? 

In  leaving  a  room  in  a  business  office  a  man  always  steps  back  to  allow  his 
superior  to  go  first  if  the  other  is  about  to  leave  too,  or,  if  there  seems  to  be 
some  delay,  asks  permission  to  go  first.  From  the  standpoint  of  superiority, 
the  top  executives  certainly  have  the  privilege  of  leaving  before  their  in- 
ferior women  employees,  but  I  have  noticed  that,  even  in  business,  most 
gentlemen  step  aside,  no  matter  what  their  capacity,  to  permit  the  women 
present  to  go  first,  even  women  in  non-executive  capacities.  It's  not  a  bad 
idea,  for  if  a  man  gets  into  the  habit  of  stalking  through  doors  ahead  of  his 
secretary  he  is  likely  to  forget  that  women  take  precedence  in  this  respect  in 
social  life.  It  is  difficult  to  have  one  set  of  manners  for  business  and  another 
for  home. 

The  rule  that  a  woman  precedes  men  through  doors  is  a  set  one,  with  the 
exception  that  a  man  goes  ahead  if  the  couple  is  walking  the  length  of  a 
train,  opening  the  heavy  doors  and  holding  them  open  until  the  woman 
passes  through.  A  woman,  however,  passes  through  a  revolving  door  first 
after  the  man  has  set  it  in  motion  for  her. 

SMOKING   IN    THE    OFFICE 

A  superior,  man  or  woman,  calling  upon  another  employee  may,  of  course, 
smoke  without  asking  permission,  but  an  outsider  may  not  smoke  in  the  office 
of  someone  else  unless  he  is  asked  to  do  so.  It  makes  a  bad  impression  for 
such  a  caller  to  ask  permission  to  smoke  if  he  is  there  in  his  own  behalf, 
asking  for,  say,  a  contract,  a  job,  or  an  introduction. 

A  man's  secretary 

A  really  experienced  and  urbane  executive  keeps  his  relations  with  his 
secretary  on  a  friendly  but  purely  business  basis  even  after  years  of  associa- 

178 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

tion.  In  very  informal  offices  a  secretary  is  sometimes  called  by  her  first 
name,  especially  in  small  towns  where  everyone  knows  everyone  else.  But  to 
the  outsider— and,  remember,  such  businesses  may  grow  to  be  big,  imper- 
sonal corporations  in  time— it  seems  less  than  businesslike  and  sometimes  a 
shade  too  intimate  for  a  man  to  call  his  secretary  "Mary"  instead  of  "Miss 
Jones,"  at  least  in  office  hours.  The  temptation  is  for  everyone  else,  in  and 
out  of  the  office,  to  call  her  Mary,  too,  so  that  she  is  deprived  of  the  dignity 
of  her  title.  When  everything  goes  smoothly  it  may  be  comfortable  enough 
for  a  man  to  call  his  secretary  by  her  first  name  and— as  is  often  the  case  in 
these  instances— for  her  to  reciprocate  by  using  his  first  name,  but  it  is  very 
difficult  if  Mary  must  be  corrected  about  something  or  has  to  be  fired. 

If  in  your  office  a  first-name  precedent  has  already  been  set,  at  least  refer 
to  the  women  on  your  staff  as  "Miss  So  and  So"  to  visitors  to  the  office.  Let 
it  be,  "Miss  Ross  will  show  you  out,  Mr.  King,"  not,  "Mary  will  show  you 
out."  Otherwise  Mr.  King,  who  may  be  no  better  than  he  should  be,  may 
get  the  wrong  idea  entirely  about  Mary  and  make  things  very  embarrassing 
for  her. 

the  pretty  secretary  It  is  only  human  for  a  man  to  want  his  secretary  to  be 
neat,  attractive,  and,  if  possible,  pretty.  He  has  to  look  at  her  all  day  long. 
But  the  more  attractive  she  is,  the  more,  for  his  own  and  her  protection,  he 
must  treat  her  with  careful,  polite  objectivity.  The  quickest  way  to  trouble, 
a  straight  line  into  the  maze  of  gossipy  office  politics,  is  for  a  man  to  pay 
more  than  business  attention  to  his  secretary.  If  it  happens  that  both  are 
free  to  have  some  social  life  together,  if  they  wish,  they  should  still  maintain 
formal  relations  in  the  office  if  their  efficiency  is  not  to  suffer.  Even  at  that, 
it  is  difficult  for  the  woman,  especially,  not  to  show  others  that  she  has  her 
boss  under  rather  special  control. 

lunching  and  dining  with  one's  secretary  A  secretary  has  a  right  to  lunch 
as  she  wishes,  in  welcome  solitude  or  with  some  friend  in  or  out  of  the  of- 
fice. For  her  employer  to  make  a  frequent  practice  of  asking  her  to  lunch 
with  him  so  he  can  catch  up  with  his  work  is  slave-driving.  Occasionally, 
it  may  be  a  good  idea  for  a  man  to  take  his  secretary  to  lunch  for  business 
or  purely  social  reasons,  to  smooth  their  working  together,  but  it  should 
always  be  kept  in  mind  that  it  is  easier  to  work  with  those  with  whom  we  do 
not  have  a  close  emotional  tie. 

If  a  man  and  his  secretary  are  traveling  together,  the  man  may  well  offer 
to  take  his  employee  to  dinner  if  otherwise  she  faces  dinner  alone.  But  he 
should  be  careful— if  he  is  married  or  she  is— to  avoid  any  but  the  most 
dignified  restaurants.  If  a  married  man  takes  his  secretary  to  a  night  club, 
for  instance,  or  some  honky-tonk,  whether  or  not  they  actually  eat  a  meal, 
they  are  both  open  to  some  suspicion  should  they  be  observed  by  someone 
from  home. 

There  is  a  delicate  difference  in  the  relations  between  a  man  and  a  woman 
associate  in  his  business  and  a  man  and  his  secretary.  Society  might  well 

179 


feel  that  a  secretary  could  not  safely  refuse  purely  social  invitations  from 
her  employer,  except  at  the  possible  risk  of  her  job.  A  woman  executive 
associate  has  more  leeway.  Supposedly  she  can  control  any  difficult  situation 
that  might  arise.  She  might  well  go  to  a  night  club  in  a  strange  city  with  an 
associate  with  whom  she  is  traveling,  although  if  one  or  the  other  is  married, 
she  would  not  do  so  at  home  unless  others  were  in  the  party  or  there  were 
some  definite  business  reason  for  going. 


TRAVELING    WITH    A    SECRETARY 

making  hotel  reservations  In  making  reservations  at  a  hotel  for  an  execu- 
tive and  his  secretary,  the  firm  name  should  be  used,  not  the  executive's  nor 
the  secretary's,  although  it  is  correct  for  some  other  person  in  the  organiza- 
tion to  make  the  reservation  if  it  is  more  convenient  for  return  mail  or  tele- 
grams to  be  addressed  to  an  individual.  Such  a  reservation  might  read: 

HOTEL   BLACKSTONE 

CHICAGO,    ILLINOIS 

PLEASE    RESERVE    TWO    SINGLE     ROOMS     THIS     FIRM'S     DR.     ROGER    GIDDONS 

AND    SECRETARY     FOR    DECEMBER    9.     CONFIRM. 

WM.      TRAVIS,      TRAFFIC      MANAGER 

HUTTON   BROTHERS 

444    MADISON   AVENUE 

NEW   YORK 

Although  such  a  message  makes  it  clear  that  the  two  should  be  assigned 
to  different  floors,  a  mistake,  if  it  is  made  by  the  reservation  desk,  should  be 
tactfully  corrected  by  whoever  signs  the  register  if  other  rooms  are  avail- 
able. If  they  are  not,  there  need  be  no  reason  for  panic.  Honi  soit  qui  mal 
y  pense,  which  could  be  translated  that  you  are  your  own  best  protection. 

how  should  they  register?  It  is  usual  for  a  secretary  to  check  into  the  same 
hotel  as  her  employer,  so  she  will  be  available  when  he  needs  her.  As  his 
secretaiy,  she  may  sign  the  register,  "Henry  Murray,"  with  his  firm  name 
and  address  (rather  than  his  social  address)  and  beneath  that,  "Miss  Bernice 
L.  Wisner,  secretary,  same  address."  The  clerk,  unless  asked  to  do  otherwise, 
will  usually  assign  the  two  to  different  floors.  If  the  employer  signs  the 
register,  he  signs  the  same  way,  giving  the  business  address  and  making  his 
secretary's  relation  to  him  clear  by  entering  the  information  on  the  register. 
Any  verbal  explanations  to  the  clerk  may  embarrass  all  concerned  quite 
unnecessarily. 

does  a  secretary  need  a  chaperone?  It  is  obviously  impossible  for  a  secretary 
traveling  with  her  employer  to  insist  on  a  chaperone  or  to  refuse  to  take 
dictation  in  a  hotel  room.  It  is  not  always  possible  for  either  a  man  or  woman 
executive  to  secure  a  hotel  suite,  even  if  such  extra  expense  is  willingly  borne 

180 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

by  a  firm,  and  it  is  often  necessary  for  dictation  to  be  given  when  executives 
travel. 

A  man  should  not  hesitate  to  ask  his  secretary,  traveling  with  him,  to  take 
dictation  or  do  other  office  work  in  his  room,  though  not  in  hers,  once  the 
rooms  have  been  made  up.  (If  it  is  impossible  to  get  the  chambermaid  to 
do  the  room  in  time,  at  least  the  bed  should  be  pulled  together,  not  kept 
open.)  The  door  should  be  unlatched,  although  it  is  not  necessary  now  that 
it  be  open. 

An  employer  may  order  lunch  (but  preferably  not  breakfast)  in  his  room 
for  his  secretary  and  himself  if  necessary  to  conserve  working  time,  but  not 
drinks.  He  should  not  ask  his  secretary  to  dine  with  him  in  his  room  if  it  is 
at  all  possible  for  them  to  go  to  the  hotel  restaurant  or  some  other  one. 
Even  while  working,  he  should  keep  his  coat  on  while  his  secretary  is  pres- 
ent, and  she  should  be  careful  to  be  as  completely  groomed  as  she  would 
be  in  her  office  at  home.  Needless  to  say,  no  man  should  ask  his  secretary— 
or  even  a  public  stenographer— to  take  his  dictation  when  he  is  not  fully 
dressed,  unless  he  is  ill  and  the  fact  is  well-known. 


THE    EXECUTIVE    ON    THE    TELEPHONE 

In  a  personal  service  organization— one  that  depends  on  its  daily  contact 
with  others  for  its  business— an  executive  should  answer  his  own  phone,  if  at 
all  possible.  Many  a  deal  has  been  queered  by  a  snippy  secretary's  self- 
important  announcement  to  the  telephone  caller,  "This  is  Mr.  Brown's  secre- 
tary speaking.  What  did  you  want  to  talk  to  him  about?"  It  is  always  that 
awkward  and  infuriating  past-tense  phrase,  too.  Mr.  Brown  is  probably 
right  there  swaying  back  in  his  swivel  chair  and  quite  able  to  pick  up  the 
phone  himself.  If  he's  any  kind  of  an  executive,  he  can  dispose  of  unwanted 
callers  with  tact  and  dispatch  and  he  does  not  run  the  risk  of  cutting  off  his 
business  blood  supply. 

But  in  case  a  man  or  woman  executive  is  really  busy,  actually  out  of  the 
office,  or  for  the  moment  can't  be  disturbed,  it  is  vital  in  almost  any  kind  of 
business  for  the  intermediary  to  handle  the  call  in  a  way  that  will  not  hurt 
the  firm's  public  relations.  If  the  secretary  can  say,  "Oh,  Miss  Johnson,  Mr. 
Brown  will  be  so  sorry  to  hear  he  missed  your  call.  I  can't  reach  him  just 
now,  but  where  may  he  call  you?  Or  is  there  something  I  can  do?"  Humanly 
enough,  many  secretaries  build  up  their  employers'  importance  in  their  own 
minds  in  order  to  bolster  their  own  egos,  and  this  reluctance  to  let  the  out- 
side world— no  matter  how  important  the  call— at  the  Great  Being  is  all  too 
apparent.  In  all  my  years  of  business  experience  I  have  yet  to  see  anyone 
who  really  wanted  to  do  business  with  an  executive  through  a  secretary. 
Where  the  procedure  is  absolutely  necessary  in  order  to  conserve  a  busy 
person's  strength  and  time,  the  utmost  discretion  must  be  observed  by  his 
go-betweens,  from  the  switchboard  operator  to  the  executive's  secretary. 
And  it  is  a  business  axiom  that  the  bigger  the  executive,  the  more  approach- 

181 


able  he  is.  I  have  always  found  it  much  easier  to  deal  with  the  heads  of 
corporations  than  with  third  assistant  vice-presidents. 

may  i  ask  who's  calling?  If  either  the  switchboard  operator  or  an  executive's 
secretary  is  assigned  to  the  job  of  keeping  unwanted  calls  from  him,  we  hear 
the  phrase,  "May  I  ask  who's  calling?"  Now  this  really  means,  "If  you're 
important,  I'll  locate  him."  If  your  name  is  unknown  to  the  board  or  to  the 
secretary,  you  will  probably  then  be  told,  "He  isn't  in,  just  now,"  which  you 
probably  suspect,  and  rightly,  is  not  so. 

If  this  sort  of  thing  must  be  done,  let  the  explanation  come  first,  "Mr. 
Brown  is  in  this  morning  but  he  is  in  a  meeting  and  I  have  been  asked  not 
to  disturb  him.  I  can  give  him  your  message  when  he  comes  out,  if  that  will 
help,  or  if  your  call  is  in  the  nature  of  an  emergency,  I  can  put  you  through 
to  him."  Not  even  the  most  avid  charity  collector  will  insist  on  speaking  to  a 
man  under  those  circumstances,  and  you  have  made  someone  feel  he  is 
important  enough  to  be  courteously  treated  no  matter  who  he  is. 

The  minute  an  executive  gets  too  "important"  to  see  people  he  is  in  danger 
of  losing  touch  with  the  realities  of  the  business  world.  He  makes  enemies  of 
big  and  little  people  when  he  might  just  as  well  have  been  making  friends. 
It  is  an  even  greater  temptation  for  a  woman  who  has  risen  to  the  top  to 
put  herself  in  an  ivory  tower,  because  power  for  her  is  a  relatively  new 
experience.  For  that  reason,  the  gracious,  relaxed  woman  executive  who  finds 
time  to  see  people  and  to  talk  to  them  earns  respect  for  her  ability  to  get 
along  in  a  tough,  competitive  world.  No  one  really  likes  the  tense,  terribly 
important  woman,  no  matter  how  talented,  and  it  is  only  human  nature  for 
those  she  has  sloughed  off  so  rudely  to  rejoice  if  she  falls  by  the  wayside  in 
the  scramble  to  the  top. 


WHEN    RELATIVES    VISIT    THE    OFFICE 

Men  or  women  in  offices,  whether  as  business  principals  or  not,  should  dis- 
courage members  of  their  families  from  using  the  office  facilities  in  any  way. 
Even  when  staff  members  or  other  executives  seem  polite  enough  when  rel- 
atives of  their  associates  come  in  to  use  the  office  because  of  its  convenience 
on  trips  to  town,  the  interruption  is  often  resented.  If  secretaries,  book- 
keepers, or  the  office  boy  are  enlisted  in  any  way  in  the  service  of  such 
outsiders,  they  should  be  compensated  for  their  trouble,  and  they  should 
never  be  taken  from  their  appointed  tasks  for  such  errands  or  favors  with- 
out the  consent  of  their  immediate  superior. 

IS   IT   NECESSARY  TO    MEET   SOCIALLY   WITH   ONE'S   EMPLOYEES? 

From  the  employer's  standpoint  it  is  rarely  essential— except  perhaps  in  a 
small  community— for  him  and  his  wife  to  pay  serious  social  attention  to  the 
families  of  junior  executives.  Business  luncheons,  an  occasional  drink,  per- 
haps, with  a  younger  man,  or  a  few  rounds  of  golf  often  suffice.  Executives 

182 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

who  are  too  close  socially  often  work  less  well,  rather  than  better,  together, 
for  they  lose  their  objectivity  or  at  least  feel  they  should  repress  it. 

It  is  a  good  thing  in  business  to  be  able  to  speak  out  fair  and  valuable 
criticism  without  thought  of  close  friendship.  Staff  promotions,  too,  are  better 
handled  when  the  owners  are  on  relatively  formal  terms  with  all  employees 
rather  than  intimate  with  a  chosen  few.  To  paraphrase  Ben  Franklin,  "Love 
your  business  associates  but  don't  pull  down  your  hedge." 


LETTERS    OF    RESIGNATION 

Resignations  from  business  firms  are  usually  given  in  person  but  even  then 
are  frequently  followed,  for  the  sake  of  the  record,  by  a  brief,  polite  note 
of  resignation,  stating  the  cause  of  the  resignation  only  if  it  in  no  way 
reflects  on  the  firm.  Such  a  letter  is  always  pleasant,  even  if  the  parting  has 
been  stormy. 

June  1,  1952 
Mr.  Abel  Cressman 
Premier  Products  Ltd., 
99  Lake  Street 
Green  Bay,  Wisconsin 

Dear  Mr.  Cressman, 

It  is  with  great  regret  that  I  must  tender  my  resignation  as  vice-president 
after  so  many  year*  with  Premier.  As  you  know,  I  have  long  wanted  to 
locate  in  New  York  and  an  excellent  opportunity  to  do  so  has  presented 
itself. 

I  am  leaving,  as  you  know,  with  the  warmest  regard  for  you  and  my 
fellow  officers.  I  hope  to  renew  the  bond  whenever  I  pass  through  Wisconsin, 
which  may  be  frequendy,  as  my  new  duties  call  for  considerable  travel. 

Sincerely, 

Robert  Murray 


CHAPTER    TWENTY-ONE 

THE  MASCULINE  GRACES 


SENDING  FLOWERS 

Too  many  men  use  little  or  no  sense  in  the  sending  of  flowers.  Confused, 
they  buy  something  expensive  and  therefore,  they  believe,  impressive,  but 

183 


it  may  be  quite  unsuittu  to  the  occasion  or  to  the  costume  the  girl  is  wear- 
ing. A  corsage  of  purple  orchids  looks  foolish  at  a  football  game,  whereas  a 
shaggy  chrysanthemum,  a  bunch  of  violets,  or  orange  calendula,  or  even  a 
charmingly  arranged  spray  of  bittersweet  would  be  in  tune  with  her  sport 
coat,  lap  rug,  and  stadium  boots. 

A  woman  is  much  more  impressed  when  her  escort  makes  an  effort  to 
find  out  what  kind  of  flowers  she  would  prefer  to  wear  than  if  he  just 
leaves  it  up  to  the  florist. 

If  a  man  can't  determine  for  himself  whether  a  girl  is  the  orchid  or  gar- 
denia type  and  can't  bring  himself  to  ask  her  what  she  plans  to  wear,  he  is 
safe  in  sending  white  flowers— lilies  of  the  valley,  gardenias,  chrysanthemums 
(for  daytime  wear),  rosebuds  (but  they  are  perishable  for  an  evening  of 
dancing),  carnations  in  a  tight  little  round  bouquet.  But  he  should  be  care- 
ful not  to  have  so  many  flowers  in  the  corsage  that  a  delicate  gown  will  be 
pulled  out  of  place  by  the  weight  of  it.  And  for  a  short  girl,  never,  unil?r 
any  circumstances,  should  a  corsage  of  more  than  one  or  two  orchids  be  sent. 
A  girl  with  taste— and  a  taste  for  orchids— would  prefer  one  little  green, 
yellow,  or  white  spray  orchid  to  half  a  dozen  ostentatious  purple  ones.  But, 
orchids  or  cornflowers,  corsages  should  be  free  of  ribbon  trimming,  and 
rose  corsages  should  not  have  any  greenery  but  their  own  as  background. 

Flowers  are  worn  various  ways  with  evening  clothes.  (If  they  are  to  be 
worn  on  the  shoulder  for  dancing,  the  right  shoulder  keeps  them  fresh 
longer. )  A  girl  with  braids  or  a  chignon  might  prefer  a  red  or  pink  camellia 
or  a  single  gardenia  for  her  hair  rather  than  a  corsage.  A  girl  under  five 
feet  five  might  prefer  a  small  arrangement  to  be  worn  on  her  back  decol- 
letage— rather  than  one  to  be  crushed  at  the  waist  or  on  the  shoulder  during 
dancing— or  a  tiny  nosegay  to  pin  to  her  gloves  or  bag.  Tall  girls  can  stand 
the  big  impressive  corsages  men  love  to  buy,  but  little  girls  often  abhor  them. 

Flowers  should  be  arranged  in  corsages  so  that  they  will  be  worn  the  way 
they  grow,  with  the  heads  up.  They  should  be  sent  with  several  florist's  pins 
so  they  can  be  anchored  firmly  in  place. 

Bouquets  of  flowers  should  always  be  sent  with  some  thought  of  where 
and  how  they  will  be  arranged.  Several  dozen  towering  dahlias,  chrysan- 
themums, or  gladioli,  sans  container,  will  not  always  be  welcome  in  a  hotel 
room,  in  the  compartment  of  a  train,  or  aboard  ship  in  anything  less  than 
a  suite.  A  potted  plant  is  impractical  for  a  transient.  Flowers— corsages  or 
arm  bouquets— sent  to  trains  and  planes  are  usually  just  a  burden  to  the 
recipient. 

It  is  a  very  nice  thing,  however,  to  send  flowers  for  decoration  to  a  girl 
who  is  giving  a  party.  I  once  knew  a  charming  gentleman  with  imagination 
enough  to  do  that.  He  filled  my  apartment  with  flowers  the  afternoon  I  was 
giving  a  large  cocktail  party— and  sent  along  his  Filipino  butler,  too,  to 
help  out. 

A  man  who  is  laying  siege  to  a  girl's  heart  does  well  not  to  systematize 
his  flower-sending.  I  knew  one  man  who  could  be  counted  on  to  send  two 

184 


PART  TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 


dozen  long-stemmed  red  roses  every  Saturday,  rain  or  shine.  And  another 
who  might  send  a  gay  red  geranium  in  a  simple  clay  pot  or  turn  up  with  a 
single  gardenia  in  a  twist  of  green  waxed  paper— or  a  new  recording  or  some 
fresh  catnip  for  the  kitten— one  never  knew.  Any  woman  could  tell  in  a 
minute  which  was  the  more  interesting  man. 

LATENESS 

If  one  is  meeting  a  lady  at  an  appointed  place,  lateness  of  five  to  ten 
minutes  is  acceptable,  but  it  is  always  better  manners  to  be  there  slightly 
before  a  guest's  arrival.  Greater  lateness  than  this  can  be  acutely  embar- 
rassing to  a  lady,  and  if  some  emergency  has  arisen  an  explanatory  message 
should  be  sent,  if  possible. 

LIGHTING    WOMEN'S    CIGARETTES 

If  he  is  seated  or  standing  near  her  in  a  social  group,  a  man  leans  over  and 
holds  a  light  to  a  woman's  cigarette,  if  she  has  made  the  gesture  of  taking 
one  herself.  A  thoughtful  man,  though  he  be  a  non-smoker,  carries  matches 
for  this  purpose  or  even  a  lighter.  One  very  correct  man-about-town  I  know 
carries  both  lighter  and  cigarette  case,  although  he  never  smokes  himself. 

If  a  man  wishes  a  cigarette  himself,  he  must  first  offer  one  to  the  ladies 
in  his  immediate  proximity,  or  at  least  to  the  one  to  whom  he  is  talking.  If 
she  doesn't  smoke,  and  he  remembers  the  fact,  he  needn't  make  the  offer, 
but  if  she  says,  "Not  now,  thank  you,"  he  should  offer  her  a  cigarette  each 
time  he  takes  one  himself.  A  man  or  woman  refusing  a  cigarette  should  never 
make  a  speech  about  it,  although  anyone  may  say,  simply,  "Thank  you,  I 
don't  smoke." 

SHAKING    HANDS 

A  handshake  is  as  much  a  part  of  personality  as  the  way  we  walk,  and  al- 
though we  may  modify  and  improve  a  poor  handshake  if  someone  calls  our 
attention  to  it,  it  will  still  usually  be  just  like  us,  assured  or  timid,  warm  or 
cool. 

Bad  handshakes  include  the  bone  crusher— the  grip  that  makes  the  other 
person,  especially  a  woman  wearing  rings,  wince.  Or  a  limp,  damp  hand- 
shake that  seems  to  say,  "I  am  not  really  happy  to  meet  you  at  all!"  Or  it 
may  be  the  kind  of  straight-arm  shake  that  seems  to  hold  the  other  person 
off,  or  the  octopus  grip  that  draws  you  inexorably  toward  the  shaker,  who 
never  seems  to  want  to  let  go.  Then  there's  the  pump  handle,  or  country 
bumpkin  shake,  and  the  very  Continental  style— reserved  for  women— which, 
though  not  a  hand  kiss  exactly,  is  cozy  and  overlong,  ending  in  an  intimate 
little  squeeze. 

The  good  handshake  is  elbow  level,  firm  and  brief.  A  man  does  not  offer 
to  shake  hands  with  a  woman  unless  she  makes  the  move  first.  Outdoors,  it 
is  no  longer  necessary  for  him  to  keep  her  waiting  awkwardly  while  he  re- 

185 


moves  his  glove,  nor  need  he  apologize  for  taking  her  hand  with  his  glove  on. 
Whether  he  is  shaking  the  hand  of  a  man  or  a  woman,  the  shaker  must  look 
the  person  he  is  greeting  firmly  in  the  eye  and,  at  least,  look  pleasant,  if  he 
doesn't  actually  smile. 

HAND    KISSING 

In  this  country  hand  kissing  is  an  intimate  rather  than  a  social  custom.  But 
an  American  man  encountering  a  European  married  woman  who  extends 
her  hand  to  be  kissed  will  certainly  feel  foolish  if  he  doesn't  know  the 
technique.  He  should  take  her  fingers  lightly  in  his,  bow  slightly  over  her 
hand  (not  lift  it  to  his  level),  and  touch  his  lips  to  the  back  of  it,  not  really 
implant  a  kiss.  It  is  a  great  breach  of  etiquette  to  kiss  the  palm  of  the  hand, 
no  matter  what  certain  ill-bred  foreigners  do  in  taking  hand-kissing  liberties 
here  for  which  they  would  be  ostracized  at  home— all  because  we  don't  know 
the  rules.  It  is  not  correct  to  kiss  the  hand  of  an  unmarried  woman  unless 
she  is  very  definitely  "of  a  certain  age."  In  France,  however,  the  hand  of 
any  woman  over  the  age  of  fifteen  may  be  kissed.  It  is  plain  silly  for  an 
American  man  in  our  own  social  circles  to  affect  hand  kissing.  On  the  other 
hand,  he  should  not  stiffly  insist  on  shaking  hands  in  circles  where  hand 
kissing  is  usual— whether  here  or  abroad. 


A    MAN'S    HAT 

A  man's  hat  should  sit  more  or  less  squarely  on  his  head,  not  be  pushed 
toward  the  back  or  tipped  too  jauntily  to  the  side.  It  should  never  distort 
the  natural  position  of  his  ears. 

In  the  corridors  and  elevators  of  public  buildings  a  man  may  keep  his 
hat  on  his  head.  In  crowded  public  elevators  he  is  more  considerate  to  keep 
his  hat  on,  as  holding  it  in  front  of  him  will  require  more  space.  If  he 
approaches  an  information  desk  where  a  woman  is  sitting,  it  is  polite  of  him 
to  touch  his  hat  when  asking  directions,  though  he  need  not  remove  it  until 
he  has  actually  entered  an  office.  The  same  gesture— that  is,  of  touching  his 
hat  but  not  removing  it— is  expected  of  him  if  he  accidentally  jostles  a  woman 
in  some  crowded  place.  He  touches  the  crown  of  a  soft  hat  or  the  brim  of  a 
stiff  one,  such  as  a  derby  or  a  sailor,  but  he  does  not  actually  lift  the  hat 
off  his  head  for  such  encounters.  The  schoolboy  yanking  of  the  brim  of  a 
fedora,  instead  of  gracefully  touching  the  crown  as  if  to  lift  the  hat,  has  a 
certain  servility  about  it  and  should  be  avoided.  A  man  may  well,  however, 
greet  another  man  with  a  casual  salute  in  which  the  side  of  the  hand  touches, 
or  nearly  touches  the  brim. 

In  greeting  a  woman  friend  in  the  street  or  in  some  public  place,  once 
she  has  bowed  first,  a  man  actually  lifts  his  hat  from  his  head,  turning  his 
head  slightly  toward  the  woman  and  smiling,  if  he  wishes,  but  not  stopping 
unless  she  stops  first.  He  must  certainly  not  stop  dead  in  his  tracks  and 
stare  after  her.  If  they  do  stop  and  talk,  he  should  guide  his  companion  out 

186 


PART  TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

of  the  way  of  traffic  after  shaking  hands— if  she  has  made  the  first  gesture 
to  do  so.  He  may  return  his  hat  to  his  head  without  apology  if  they  are  in 
the  open  and  the  weather  is  bad,  but  he  must  not  smoke. 

CONDUCT  IN  PUBLIC  CONVEYANCES 

A  man  touches  his  hat  but  does  not  look  more  than  briefly  at  a  woman  to 
whom  he  gives  up  his  seat.  He  then  stands  as  far  away  from  her  as  possible 
and  does  not  look  in  her  direction.  It  is  certainly  not  expected  that  a  tired 
businessman  relinquish  his  seat  in  a  crowded  conveyance  to  any  woman 
who  happens  to  strap-hang  over  him  (but  let  his  conscience  be  his  guide). 
But  decency  dictates  that  he  give  it  up  to  a  tired  mother  with  a  young  child 
or  a  baby  in  her  arms,  to  a  pregnant  woman,  or  to  an  old  or  crippled  one— 
or  to  an  old  or  disabled  man.  The  relaxing  of  the  rules  has  led  to  too  many 
men  jumping  up  for  pretty  girls  who  can  well  stand  on  their  own  two  feet, 
while  women  who  obviously  need  seats  are  left  standing.  Needless  to  say,  no 
boy  or  girl  should  occupy  an  unreserved  seat  on  a  public  conveyance  when 
older  women  or  women  with  babies  in  their  arms  are  standing.  A  boy 
touches  the  brim  of  his  hat  and  moves  away  from  the  person,  man  or  woman, 
to  whom  he  gave  his  seat.  The  person  to  whom  the  seat  has  been  given 
says,  "Thank  you,"  but  never  opens  a  conversation  with  his  or  her  benefactor. 
If  a  man  gives  up  his  seat  to  a  woman  accompanied  by  another  man,  both 
men  should  touch  their  hats  without  actually  removing  them. 

alighting  from  conveyances  Men  sometimes  mistakenly  allow  the  women 
they  are  accompanying  to  go  first  when  alighting  from  various  conveyances. 
This  is  incorrect  as  the  man  should  go  first  in  order  to  assist  the  woman  to 
alight.  Strangers,  however,  have  no  responsibility  in  the  matter,  letting 
women  alight  as  best  they  can,  unless  it  is  obvious  some  difficulty  is  involved. 
A  man  may  help  a  woman  with  baggage  or  a  small  child  if  no  driver  or 
conductor  is  on  hand  to  do  so,  but  he  must  be  very  casual  in  such  offers  of 
assistance,  open  no  conversations,  and,  once  he  has  helped,  not  seek  to  pro- 
long the  contact  unnecessarily. 

summoning  or  sharing  taxis  If  his  time  allows  for  the  courtesy,  a  man  wait- 
ing for  a  taxi  permits  a  woman  waiting  in  the  same  place  to  take  the  first  to 
stop,  but  he  never  offers  or  asks  to  share  it  unless,  of  course,  he  has  some 
acquaintance  with  the  woman  and  they  are  going  in  the  same  direction.  If 
his  acquaintance  is  very  slight  and  the  woman  is  perfectly  willing  to  share 
the  cab  (when  there  is  obvious  difficulty  in  getting  one),  each  pays  his  por- 
tion of  the  fare,  with  the  one  getting  out  first  paying  the  fare  up  to  that  point 
and  leaving  the  usual  tip.  Under  the  circumstances,  conversation  is  not  ex- 
pected, and  it  is  never  opened  by  the  man. 

If  her  escort  summons  a  cab  for  a  woman  whom  he  is  unable  to  accom- 
pany to  her  destination,  he  asks  the  driver  what  the  approximate  fare  will 
be  and  pays  him  in  advance,  including  the  tip.  He  does  not  thrust  the  cab 
fare  at  the  woman.  If  the  appointment  was  a  business  rather  than  social  one, 

187 


he  has  no  such  responsibility,  but,  on  the  other  hand,  if  the  woman  wants 
a  cab,  she  should  ask  him  to  summon  one  and  she  should  pay  her  own  fare. 
A  man  should  never  ride  part  way  with  a  woman  in  a  taxi,  whether  they 
have  been  on  a  social  or  business  appointment,  and  leave  her  with  the  whole 
fare,  if  he  alights  first.  If  he  has  ridden  in  the  cab  at  all,  he  should  be  willing 
and  able  to  pay  the  entire  fare.  For  a  man  to  put  a  woman  into  a  cab  she  has 
not  requested  with  the  assumption  that  she  has  enough  money  with  her  to 
pay  for  it  is  to  place  her,  perhaps,  in  an  embarrassing  position. 

A   MAN'S    BOW 

A  man's  bow,  a  slight,  graceful  inclination  of  his  body  from  the  waist  up, 
is  the  grown-up  version  of  the  boy's  dancing  class  hand-on-heart  one.  He 
must  not  merely  duck  his  head  or,  worse,  pull  in  his  chin  in  greeting,  like  a 
turtle,  or  give  it  a  backward  jerk,  like  a  wet  dog.  He  must  modify  to  modern 
usage  the  courtly,  sweeping  bow  of  the  knight-errant,  and  the  only  way  he 
can  master  it  is  to  practice  it  in  front  of  a  mirror  until  he  knows  how  he 
looks.  His  bow  must  then  become  as  much  a  part  of  him  as  his  skin  and 
should  be  so  geared  as  to  be  suitable  for  men  and  women  alike.  It  should 
be  a  democratic  bow,  as  gracious  to  the  little  girl  down  the  street  as  to  the 
British  Ambassador. 

You  must  return  any  bow  directed  to  you,  whether  or  not  you  know  the 
person  bowing,  or  whether  or  not  you  have  a  friendly  feeling  toward  the 
bower.  Sometimes  a  person  bows  under  the  assumption  that  he  knows  you— 
and  such  a  bow  you  must  return,  though  if  you  are  certain  a  mistake  has 
been  made  you  do  not  stop,  if  you  can  pretend  you  haven't  seen  the  other 
person  hesitate,  in  order  to  save  him  or  her  embarrassment.  You  never  "cut" 
another  individual  who  greets  you  publicly,  no  matter  how  much  you  may 
wish  to  do  so.  There  are  other  ways  of  protecting  yourself  from  unwanted 
acquaintance  without  doing  that. 

It  is  accepted  that  a  woman  bows  first,  but  in  this  crowded  world,  today, 
a  woman  usually  prefers  to  have  the  man  indicate  by  his  expression  that  he 
expects  her  to  bow  if  she  doesn't  at  the  moment  recall  him— perhaps  not  in 
that  place  or  under  those  circumstances.  This  is  particularly  true  in  the 
business  and  professional  field,  where  it  is  hard  to  distinguish  those  we  have 
met  or  had  introduced  to  us  from  those  we  merely  recognize  because  we 
see  them  so  often  in  the  places  we  frequent.  A  suburbanite  may  not  in- 
stantly recognize  a  neighbor  if  she  runs  into  him  on  a  city  bus  and  may  feel 
very  embarrassed  later  because  she  has  failed  to  bow  after  he  has  looked 
directly  at  her  but  without  showing  he  knows  her. 

MANNERS    ON    THE    STREET 

In  America  it  is  cusomary  for  a  man  to  walk  on  the  curb  side  when  accom- 
panying a  lady  on  the  street,  but  the  rule  is  not  so  hard  and  fast  as  it  used 
to  be.  In  Europe  the  man  walks  on  the  woman's  left,  which  may,  of  course, 

188 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

be  the  inside.  When  a  man  is  accompanying  two  ladies  he  may  walk  between 
them  or,  conservatively,  on  the  outside,  moving  to  the  center  position  to 
assist  both  across  the  street.  He  does  not  offer  his  arm  to  a  lady,  except  to 
an  elderly  or  infirm  one,  in  the  daytime,  although  he  does  do  so  at  night  or 
in  bad  weather.  He  offers  his  arm  to  assist  her  across  the  street  but  does 
not  propel  her  by  the  elbow.  The  only  time  he  does  touch  her  elbow  is 
when  he  is  helping  her  up  into  a  conveyance.  If  he  precedes  her— for  ex- 
ample, down  a  train  step— he  offers  her  his  hand  to  steady  her  descent.  He 
may  never  take  her  arm. 

kissing  in  public  The  Victorian  gentleman  shook  hands  gravely  with  his  wife 
and  family  if  he  met  them  in  a  public  place.  But  now,  if  it  is  usual  for  us  to 
kiss  our  relatives  or  close  friends,  we  do  so,  in  greeting  and  farewell,  in  pub- 
lic or  not,  so  long  as  the  gesture  is  sufficiently  brief  so  as  not  to  attract  the 
attention  of  passers-by.  The  senseless  public  kissing  when  women  meet,  par- 
ticularly those  who  see  each  other  frequently,  should  be  discouraged.  From 
the  way  they  go  about  it,  it  is  obvious  each  is  afraid  of  getting  lipstick 
smeared  on  her  careful  make-up  or  having  her  hat  knocked  awry.  But  if  you 
feel  like  kissing  out  of  real  affection  and  pleasure  at  seeing  someone,  go 
ahead,  so  long  as  you  avoid  too  public  a  display  of  your  emotions.  Even  boys 
and  girls  who  have  no  romantic  attachment  for  one  another  sometimes  kiss 
in  public,  on  occasion,  without  anyone  being  embarrassed  by  their  spon- 
taneity. It  isn't  the  kiss,  it's  the  too  obvious  enjoyment  or  prolongation  of  it 
that  should  be  avoided  in  public  places.  Love-making  should  be  a  private 
pursuit.  Of  course,  if  a  man  does  greet  a  woman  in  public  with  a  kiss,  he 
must  remove  his  hat  entirely. 

making  apologies  In  disturbing  anyone  by  passing  in  front  of  him  or  her— if 
there  is  no  other  course— say,  "Please  excuse  me,"  or  "I  beg  your  pardon,"  or 
"I'm  sorry,"  not  the  curt,  imperative,  "Excuse  me,"  "Pardon,"  or  "Sorry." 
Where  possible,  ask  permission  to  pass  first— as  in  a  theater  row— don't  barge 
past  people  or  over  their  feet  without  first  giving  them  a  chance  to  make 
way. 

opening  conversations  A  gentleman  does  not  open  conversations  with  women 
he  encounters  in  public  places  or  conveyances  unless  there  is  some  sound 
reason  for  doing  so.  If  a  woman  leaves  her  seat  in  a  hotel  lobby  and  forget? 
her  fur  piece,  a  gentleman  picks  it  up  and  goes  after  her  with  it.  As  he 
catches  up  with  her,  he  touches  her  arm  lightly,  hands  her  the  forgotten 
scarf,  tips  his  hat,  and  turns  away  immediately,  as  she  thanks  him. 

careful  about  names  Never  call  out  a  woman's  name  in  a  public  place,  or  in 
conversations  use  the  names  of  friends,  clients,  or  employers  where  they  may 
be  overheard  by  strangers.  Talking  in  public  places  should  always  be  keyed 
low,  though  it  must  never  seem  too  intimate,  either,  where  a  woman  com- 
panion is  concerned.  A  gentleman  does  nothing  to  make  a  lady  conspicuous 
in  a  public  place. 

189 


A    FEW    BRIEF    REMINDERS 

Do  not— 

enter  a  room  before  a  lady  unless  it  is  dark  and  you  wish  to  make  it 
ready  for  her 

seat  yourself  while  ladies  are  standing 

speak  or  bow  to  a  lady  before  she  has  given  some  sign  of  recognition. 
(There  are  exceptions,  of  course.  A  man  passing  a  very  good  friend  on  the 
street  or  in  some  public  place,  and  being  sure  that  she  had  not  seen  him, 
might  catch  up  with  her  and  place  his  hand  lightly  on  her  arm  or,  if  they 
are  on  a  first-name  basis,  might  call  "Mary"  softly  when  within  hearing,  but 
never  "Miss  Thayer!"  as  no  lady  wishes  to  have  her  name  publicly  called 
out.) 

smoke  without  asking  permission  of  the  lady  you  are  accompanying  or 
seated  so  near  (as  in  a  train)  that  the  smoke  might  annoy  her 

call  any  but  your  contemporaries  or  children  by  their  first  names 

keep  your  hat  on  while  talking  to  a  lady  (unless  asked  to  replace  it)  or 
fail  to  touch  your  hat  or  to  lift  it  when  necessary 

take  a  woman's  hand,  touch  her  face  or  body  in  the  course  of  conversa- 
tion, nudge  her  or  take  her  arm  except  to  help  her  up  into  or  out  of  vehicles 
or,  if  really  necessary,  across  the  street 

speak  intimately  of  any  girl  or  woman  to  other  men 

fail  to  pull  out  a  lady's  chair  for  her  or  fail  to  serve  her  or  to  see  that  she 
is  served  first 

speak  of  repulsive  matters  at  table 

criticize  another's  religion,  belittle  his  race  or  country,  or  refer  unneces- 
sarily to  his  color  in  his  presence 

enter  any  place  of  worship  without  removing  your  hat  (if  its  removal  is 
expected)   and  without  speaking  in  reverent  tones 

laugh  at  the  mistakes  or  misfortunes  of  others 

fail  to  give  due  respect  to  a  clergyman  of  any  faith,  to  a  woman  of  any 
religious  order. 


CHAPTER    TWENTY-TWO 

THE  WELL-DRESSED  WOMAN 


The  best-dressed  women  I  know  pay  very  little  attention  to  the  picayune 
aspects  of  fashion,  but  they  have  a  sound  understanding  of  style. 

There  are  smart  women  who  haven't  changed  the  length  of  their  skirts  in 


190 


PART  TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

twenty  years,  whose  hats  are  always  more  or  less  the  same  shape  although 
they  vary  in  color  and  material  with  the  seasons.  Such  women  often  wear 
their  hair  exactly  the  same  way  from  girlhood  on,  wearing  it  short  or  long 
as  most  becomes  them,  despite  current  agitations  one  way  or  the  other. 
We  may  envy  such  women.  They  have  such  a  sure  sense  of  what  is  good  for 
them.  They  save  time  and  temper  assembling  their  wardrobes.  Often  they 
are  considered  among  the  best-dressed  women  in  the  world,  although  they 
might  not  make  the  famous  list  because,  while  they  have  style,  they  are 
superior  to  mere  fashion. 

This  sureness  is,  sad  to  state,  not  for  all  of  us.  Instead,  we  are  pushed 
hither  and  yon  by  the  shallow  dictates  of  fashion,  often  to  a  degree  that  is 
truly  wasteful  and  silly.  While  fashion,  if  you  can  afford  it,  is  fun,  it  is  no 
fun  to  feel  you  must  discard  an  expensive  dress  you  have  worn  only  a  few 
times  because  it  is  no  longer  "high  style."  Unless  you  can  really  afford  it,  or 
because  of  your  position  must  afford  it,  it  is  better  to  avoid  all  the  expensive 
aspects  of  radically  new  fashion  ideas  until  they  have  been  sifted  enough  for 
the  sound  ones  to  emerge  and  have  a  fair  existence. 

The  basic  wardrobe  has  a  theme  which  often  carries  through  from  year 
♦o  year.  If  you  have  one  winter  cloth  coat  you  must  consider  its  color  as 
your  guide  for  all  the  seasons  you  wear  it.  The  same  is  true  of  the  accessories 
you  bought  for  it.  Such  long-range  planning  means  that  you  can  buy  better 
quality,  for  the  investment  is  to  be  spread  over  more  than  one  season,  as  it 
must  be  if  you  are  an  average  woman  not  engaged  in  the  fashion  business— 
which  lives  on  quick  changes. 


PLANNING    THE    BASIC    WARDROBE 

colors  The  woman  who  has  no  basic  color  scheme  in  her  wardrobe  must  have 
considerable  money  in  order  to  be  well-dressed.  She  will  need  many  more 
accessories  than  the  woman  who  plans  each  season's  clothes  around  what  is 
still  good  and  usable  in  her  existing  wardrobe,  who  has  accepted  the  idea 
that  there  are  certain  basic  colors  becoming  to  her  and  to  which  she  should 
adhere  if  she  wishes  to  dress  well  on  a  controlled  dress  expenditure. 

Basic  colors  are  black,  blue,  brown  (with  all  its  variations),  and  gray, 
possibly  green  and  wine.  On  the  first  four  a  good  wardrobe  can  be  built, 
allowing  for  much  variety  (although  brown,  itself,  is  difficult  for  formal 
clothes;  the  beige  tones  are  better).  The  last  two,  as  basic  colors,  are  more 
limiting,  except  for  a  season  or  two.  This  doesn't  mean  that  you  shouldn't 
buy  a  plum  or  wine  suit  or  a  green  one,  but  you  should  accept  the  fact  that 
after  two  seasons  such  suits  are  readily  recognizable  if  worn  too  frequently 
and  that  if  accessories  are  bought  to  match  them  they  will  not  be  easily  worn 
with  other  colors. 

It  is  the  interchangeability  of  accessories  that  makes  for  interesting  variety 
in  the  wardrobe,  not  a  large  number  of  dresses  and  suits.  Even  extravagantly 


well-dressed  women  follow  the  basic  plan,  sometimes  never  varying  the 
basic  color  from  season  to  season. 

As  a  young  girl's  taste  in  clothes  develops,  she  will  find  that  she  turns 
again  and  again  to  certain  accent  colors  because  they  make  her  prettier  or 
happier.  Eventually  she  is  guided  almost  unconsciously  to  these  colors,  and 
variations  of  them,  in  choosing,  say,  a  print  dress  or  flowers  for  her  spring 
hat.  She  will  have  decided  early  which  of  the  basic  colors  go  best  with  the 
accent  colors  she  likes  to  wear,  and  she  will  buy  her  shoes,  bags,  belts, 
coats,  and  hats  in  basic  colors  that  will  complement  or  match  anything  she 
is  likely  to  buy. 

coats  For  summer  wear,  a  loose-fitting  white  or  natural  camel's  hair  coat  is  a 
basic  that  will  have  years  of  use  if  it  is  bought  in  a  classic  style.  A  black 
evening  wrap  is  a  sound  conservative  choice,  but  it  is  surprising  how  well 
one  in  flame  red  will  go  with  almost  anything  a  blonde  or  brunette  is  likely 
to  wear  in  the  evening  if  she  doesn't  go  out  too  much,  and  especially  if  she 
has  a  dressy  fur  coat  for  a  change-over. 

If  only  one  fur  coat  or  jacket  is  possible  on  your  budget,  let  it  be  a  dress 
coat— preferably  three-quarter-  or  full-length,  with  a  shawl  or  roll  collar. 
Avoid  the  high-fashion  models.  Mink  in  good  quality  is  a  long-term  invest- 
ment, and  caracul,  Persian  lamb,  the  new  muskrats  in  mink  tones,  seal, 
sheared  beaver,  and  skunk  (for  a  jacket)  are  among  the  hardier  furs  that 
should  have  a  life  of  at  least  five  years.  When  you  consider  that  a  good  cloth 
coat  is  expensive  and  more  likely  to  show  wear  or  go  out  of  fashion  in  less 
time  than  this,  a  fur  coat  is  often  a  better  buy.  You  consider  its  cost  as 
amortized  over  five  years. 

If  you  live  in  a  cold  climate  and  in  the  country,  a  tough  fur  sport  coat  is 
often  a  better  long-term  investment  than  even  the  heaviest  cloth  coat  suit- 
able for  bad  weather— the  upkeep  is  small  and  it  looks  warm.  Among  the 
best  for  the  purpose  are  mouton  (processed  lamb),  lambskin,  the  new 
sheared  raccoon,  leopard,  or  leopard  cat  (suitable  for  town,  too).  Almost  a 
uniform  for  both  men  and  women  in  smart  country  places  is  the  trim,  wind- 
proof,  lambskin-  or  pile-lined  belted  coat  of  gabardine  in  basic  tones.  A 
well-tailored  fabric  raincoat  makes  a  good  extra  topcoat  between  seasons. 

If  your  budget  is  limited,  beware  the  spring  coat.  It  is  often  too  high- 
styled  and  relatively  too  expensive  for  the  use  you  will  get  from  it.  If  your 
climate  calls  for  some  slight  protection  in  early  spring,  a  fur  piece  or  little 
cape  or  jacket  will  have  a  much  longer  life  and  be  usable  day  and  evening. 
A  classic  camel's  hair  or  a  good  simple,  tailored  coat  and  a  dual-duty  rain- 
coat will  be  of  use  spring,  summer,  and  fall  for  many  seasons. 

Hats  If  you  are  a  country  dweller  your  need  for  hats  is  usually  limited.  Instead, 
you  need  scarves,  colorful  bandannas,  berets,  a  hunting  cap  for  your  belted 
sport  coat,  a  duck  snap  brim,  if  you're  the  type,  and  a  good  dress  hat  or  two 
each  season  that  will  carry  you  smartly  into  town  on  your  occasional  sorties 
into  the  more  sophisticated  world  of  clothes.  In  winter  a  becoming  fur  hat, 

192 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

well-made  and  expensive,  to  go  with  your  dress  coat— to  match  it  or  its 
scarf,  collar  or  muff,  or  to  contrast— say,  a  mink  hat  and  muff  with  a  black 
Persian  lamb  or  broadtail— can  have  a  long  and  fashionable  life.  The  original 
investment  is  high,  but  you  are  sure  of  getting  a  hat  that  can  take  hard 
winter  weather,  stay  on  your  head  in  a  high  wind,  keep  you  warm,  and  be 
becoming  for  as  many  seasons  as  you  will  wear  your  coat.  Its  style  can  be 
varied  from  time  to  time  by  an  adroit  milliner,  but,  here,  if  there  ever  was 
one,  is  a  basic  hat. 

In  the  summer  your  basic  town,  dress  hat  will  probably  be  a  well-designed, 
simple  black,  navy,  or  white  straw  or  one  in  toast  or  natural  tones,  depend- 
ing on  your  going-to-town  wardrobe.  The  body  should  be  the  best  you  can 
buy,  so  that  it  is  worth  while  to  have  the  trimming  changed  from  season  to 
season.  I  have  such  a  hat,  whose  original  cost  was  forty  dollars  but  which  I 
have  worn  three  summer  seasons  with  three  changes  of  trimming.  Each 
season  I  have  been  complimented  on  my  wonderful  new  hat.  Considering 
the  little  I  wear  a  hat  in  the  summertime,  it  would  be  wasteful  extravagance 
to  have  even  one  new,  startling  hat  each  summer  (and  I  like  them  to  be 
striking),  so  the  remodeling  of  my  basic  summer  hat  is  the  answer  and  satis- 
fies my  desire  for  silliness  in  headgear  at  low  cost.  This  would  never  work 
with  a  hat  cheap  to  begin  with— and  it's  better  fashion  policy  to  spend  rela- 
tively more  for  a  hat  than  for  the  dress  with  which  it's  worn. 

A  simple,  round  soft  felt  hat  (or  perhaps  a  good  crocheted  wool  one)  that 
goes  with  tweeds  is  another  basic  that  fills  in  the  seasons.  Such  a  hat  should 
match  or  complement  the  topcoat  with  which  it  is  to  be  worn  rather  than 
the  suit.  If  you  have  several  tweed  suits  in  varying  colors,  all  to  be  worn 
with  a  camel's  hair  or  other  neutral  topcoat,  you  can  have  removable  hat- 
bands or  scarves  that  will  pick  up  the  color  of  the  suit  or  accessories  so  that 
the  same  hat  will  serve  several  changes  of  wardrobe. 

suits  Every  wardrobe  needs  at  least  one  good  wool  or  tweed  tailored  suit.  It 
should  be  cut  on  classic  lines,  so  that  with  minor  shortenings  and  lengthen- 
ings from  season  to  season  it  will  be  good  for  from  five  to  seven  years— or 
even  longer.  A  cheap  dressmaker  suit,  cut  in  the  latest  fashion  and  color,  is 
an  extravagant  abomination.  A  good  tailored  suit  should  cost  usually  at  least 
seventy  dollars  and  be  sufficiently  conservative  in  color,  line,  and  fabric  that 
it  is  entirely  unremarkable.  A  tailored  suit  is  a  uniform.  A  good  dressy  suit 
is  a  short-run  extravagance,  nice  only  if  you  can  afford  it. 

The  perfect  tailored  suit  can  be  worn  both  in  town  and  in  the  country 
with  a  change  of  accessories.  Shoes  may  be  walking  pumps  for  town  (not 
high  heels),  and  ties,  brogues,  moccasins,  or  any  other  solid  country  shoe 
out  of  town.  Beware  the  effect  of  too  light  a  shoe— in  color  and  heft— with  a 
dark  tweed.  The  feet  should  be  darkly  shod,  too,  to  furnish  a  base  for  the 
soundness  of  the  suit.  Two-tone  shoes,  especially  of  black  and  white  or 
brown  and  white,  should  be  avoided  with  tweed  suits,  except  those  in  pastel 
shades,  and  should  not  be  worn  in  town. 

Too  sheer  blouses  look  just  as  bad  as  too  delicate  shoes  with  tweeds. 

193 


A  slipover  sweater  or  wool  shirt  or  some  heavy  fabric  with  body  is  best 
with  tweed  for  the  country.  In  the  city  a  simple,  non-sheer  tailored  blouse 
with  a  round  collar  or  a  turnover  collar  on  a  shirt  neckline  is  most  appro- 
priate. White  is  usually  best,  or  soft  pastel  tones,  but  avoid  brilliant  con- 
trasts which  destroy  the  effect  of  the  classic  suit  which  should  be,  as  I  said, 
unremarkable. 

underthings  Underwear  should  be  simple,  washable,  and  of  excellent  quality, 
devoid  of  imitation  lace,  sleazy  ribbons,  and  machine  embroidery.  Hand- 
made real  silk  or  fine  nylon  underwear  is  lovely,  but  machine-made  under- 
wear of  good  quality  can  do  nicely,  too,  in  a  well-conceived  wardrobe. 

Nylon,  unless  it  is  the  perforated  knit  variety,  is  hot  in  summer  as  per- 
spiration cannot  evaporate  beneath  it  readily.  Sheer  cotton,  fresh  and  crisp 
every  day,  is  the  coolest  during  a  hot  spell.  Fine  quality  silk,  well-made, 
with  strong,  French  seams,  costs  a  lot  initially  but  can  last  years  with  careful 
laundering.  Cheap  rayon,  knit  or  woven,  can  look  fairly  good  when  you  buy 
it,  but  proves  expensive  in  that  it  does  not  keep  its  finish  and  becomes  limp 
and  drab  after  a  few  washings. 

The  most  comfortable  girdle  is  the  two-way  stretch,  which  allows  free 
body  movement  and  which  is  made  at  least  partly  of  lastex.  Its  loose  weave 
permits  evaporation  of  perspiration.  Any  girdle  that  pulls  you  in  unnaturally, 
into  some  semblance  of  the  currently  fashionable  figure,  is  likely  to  make 
you  so  uncomfortable  and  irritable  that  any  striking  effect  your  new  clothes 
can  make  is  nullified  by  your  tense  expression.  If  you  are  conscious  of  your 
girdle,  it's  the  wrong  one  for  you.  The  most  you  should  ask  of  a  girdle,  any- 
how, is  that  it  hold  in  your  stomach  somewhat,  give  a  smooth  line  to  your 
hips,  and  support  your  stockings.  If  it  does  more  than  that  it  is  merely  dis- 
placing fat— pushing  it  from  one  spot,  say  your  abdomen,  to  another,  to  your 
thighs  or  your  diaphragm.  And  don't  think  the  new  bulges  don't  show. 

Brassieres  have  come  a  long  way  since  Aunt  Nellie  was  an  adolescent  and 
they  bound  her  flat  with  a  straight,  tight  bra  which  eventually  broke  down 
her  muscles  and,  in  her  otherwise  attractive  forties,  made  her  droopy.  For 
young  people  brassieres  are  not  necessary  except  perhaps  for  active  sports, 
unless  support  of  abnormally  heavy  breasts  is  actually  needed.  For  problem 
figures  the  various  types  of  new  brassieres  may  be  carefully  fitted  with  wire, 
but  never  pressing  on  the  soft  tissues.  No  woman  need  look  droopy  today, 
either  in  a  dress  or  a  bathing  suit,  or  flat-chested  either.  Ready-made  clothes 
fit  better  if  the  bust  line  is  something  like  the  ideal— even  if  this  approach  to 
perfection  is  considerably  helped  along  by  uplifts  or  falsies  or  both. 

Dresses  Here,  considering  to  what  a  degree  fashion  plays  a  part  from  season  to 
season,  we  can  talk  about  line  and  fabric,  color  and  suitability,  rather  than 
what  is  current  at  the  moment.  The  basic  rules  of  good  grooming  don't 
change. 

The  first  rule  is  to  accept  what  you  are.  If  you  are  medium  height— five 
feet  three  or  so— with  small  bones,  the  heavy,  masculine  fabrics  and  bulki- 

194 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

ness  of  line  are  never  for  you,  no  matter  how  much  they  are  in  style  at  the 
moment.  You  should  dress  to  the  lines  of  your  body.  If  the  line  from  the 
hip  to  your  knee  is  relatively  short,  even  if  you  have  moderately  long  legs 
and  an  average  waist,  you  will  look  overdressed  in  heavy  tweeds,  loosely 
cut  clothes,  large  inverted  or  box  pleats.  Any  next-to-the-body  wools  should 
be  very  light  weight.  Dress  coats  should  be  fitted  and  sport  coats  only 
moderately  loose,  or  you  will  seem  lost  in  bolts  of  material. 

Most  ready-made  clothes  are  designed  for  the  model  figure— the  long- 
legged,  long-thigh-boned,  and  long-waisted  type  who  can  drape  herself  in 
a  portiere  and  look  chic.  The  little  woman,  or  even  the  medium-height  one 
should  choose  clothes  which  have  been  scaled  to  her  proportions,  or  she 
should  have  her  clothes  carefully  altered  to  suit  her  figure,  first  avoiding 
too  heavy  fabrics  and  too  dramatic  lines. 

On  the  contrary,  the  tall,  rangy  creature  should  avoid  too  fine,  too  closely 
fitted  materials  and  concentrate  on  bulky,  rough-textured  fabrics,  loose  line, 
pleats,  bold  plaids  and  stripes,  contrast  in  skirt  and  blouse,  tall,  even  stag- 
gering hats,  and  those  handsome,  tongued  brogues  that  make  the  little 
woman  seem  rooted  to  the  good  earth. 

A  short  or  middling  woman  should  strive  for  continuance  of  line.  A  red 
hat,  a  white  jacket,  and  a  navy  skirt  will  cut  her  in  three  pieces.  She  can 
have  the  patriotic  effect,  if  that's  what  she  yearns  for,  by  having  jacket  and 
skirt  the  same  blue,  by  having  a  white  blouse  relieve  the  neckline,  and  by 
trimming  her  blue  hat  with  a  red  cockade  and  carrying  a  not  too  large 
red  bag. 

Large,  obvious  accessories— such  as  huge  bags,  brightly  colored  gloves, 
bulky  costume  jewelry— and  bright  box  jackets,  heavy  embroidery,  enormous 
hats  are  only  for  big  women,  preferably  the  big-boned  ones.  A  slender, 
medium-height  woman  can  get  away  with  one  of  these  things  at  a  time, 
occasionally,  but  she  should  beware  of  the  dumpy  effect  they  can  give. 


EVENING    CLOTHES 

Evening  clothes  for  small  and  medium  women  should  follow  the  body  line 
and  not  be  of  heavy,  bulky,  or  too  stiff  fabrics  unless  the  wearer  is  very 
slender.  Chiffon,  satin  (not  heavy  slipper  satin  on  the  plump),  crepe,  velvet 
(for  the  slender),  moire,  taffeta  are  all  suitable  if  simple  in  line  and  very 
restrained  in  trimming.  Trains,  panniers,  bustles,  wide  sashes,  bordered 
fabrics,  and  bouffant  effects,  when  in  style,  tend  to  cut  height  and  increase 
girth,  as  do  all  bold,  two-or-more-color  effects.  The  tall  woman  can  wear 
heavier,  bolder  materials,  unless  she  is  heavy.  In  the  latter  case  darker 
tones,  lighter  weight  materials,  smaller,  but  not  tiny,  patterns  are  more 
suitable. 

Except  for  the  very  social  woman,  an  evening  dess  is  a  luxury  worn  only 
a  few  times  during  a  season.  If  a  new  dinner  or  evening  dress  is  velvet  its 
season  is  very  short  indeed— it  begins  to  look  outmoded  by  late  December 

195 


or  January  when  the  new  Palm  Beach  prints  make  their  appearance  and 
it  is  not  smartly  worn  after  the  end  of  February.  Prints  worn  much  before 
January  first  seem  to  be  left  over  from  the  summer.  But  they  are  worn  by 
smart  women  from  January  until  the  end  of  August.  Print  street  dresses, 
especially  in  challis,  often  appear  in  the  early  fall,  of  course. 

The  best  choice  for  an  evening  dress,  if  it  is  to  have  real  use,  is  crepe, 
chiffon,  or  cotton  lace  in  a  non-assertive  color  or  black.  It  can  be  worn  in 
any  season  and  can  be  changed  by  various  accessories— a  scarf,  a  bright 
sash,  or  colored  elbow-or-longer  evening  gloves  in  doeskin  or  cotton  doeskin 
or  glace  kid,  loosely  fitting  and  with  bracelets  (but  never  rings)  worn  over 
them.  Such  gloves  are  part  of  a  costume  and  are  not  removed  during  the 
evening,  though  the  hand  of  the  glove  is  pushed  back  over  the  wrist  when 
one  eats  or  drinks  and  the  gloves  should  be  removed  entirely  at  the  dinner 
table.  To  be  avoided,  usually,  are  embroidered  or  fancily  stitched  gloves  and 
any  made  of  weird  materials  such  as  silver  or  gold  tissue  or,  to  anticipate 
wildly,  fur  fabric.  Gloves  should  be  background,  not  bull's-eye,  for  a  costume 
—except  on  an  entertainer. 

A  wise  woman  never  discards  an  evening  or  dinner  dress  that's  been 
becoming  to  her,  no  matter  how  often  she's  worn  it  around  home.  If  she 
goes  first  class  on  an  ocean  liner  or  cruise  ship  she  will  want  to  dress  for 
dinner  most  nights,  and  a  well-chosen  evening  dress  five  years  old  can  look 
brand  new  to  people  who  have  never  seen  it  before.  Good  evening  clothes 
for  women  approach  the  uniform  and  date  very  slowly. 

dinner  dresses  A  dinner  dress  has  short  cap  or  long  sleeves  but  rarely  leaves 
arms  and  shoulders  completely  bare,  though  arms  and  shoulders  may  show 
through  net,  lace,  or  tulle.  It  is  usually  cut  on  body  lines  and  except  for  its 
length  could  be  a  formal  afternoon  dress.  It  can  be  worn  either  with  an  eve- 
ning wrap  or,  better,  with  a  fur  coat  or  jacket  or  in  summer  a  short,  simple 
fabric  jacket  or  fur  scarf.  It  is  worn  with  or  without  an  evening  hat  to  the 
theater,  to  informal  dinners  (where  men  wear  dark  suits  or  tuxedos),  to  res- 
taurants. It  is  best  in  dark  or  neutral  colors— beige,  taupe,  moleskin,  amethyst, 
blue— and  is  not  necessarily  evening-length,  though  it  is  longer  than  day- 
length.  The  satin  dinner  suit,  a  little  longer  than  street-length,  is  good  for 
town  wear  and  a  fine  solution  for  suburbanites  with  no  pied-d-terre  in  town 
who  must  catch  the  eleven-forty  home  after  the  theater.  Unlike  evening- 
length  dinner  dresses,  which  are  not  worn  before  six,  dinner  suits  can  appear 
from  four-thirty  on  and  are  very  convenient  for  cocktail  parties  that  lengthen 
out  into  dinner  and  the  theater. 


CLOTHES    FOR    ACTIVE    SPORTS 

tennis  and  badminton     Unless  she's  playing  on  her  own  court  at  home,  a 
woman  wears  white  for  tennis  or  badminton  to  keep  from  distracting  other 

196 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

players  on  adjoining  courts  with  bright  colors.  She  may  wear  shorts— knee- 
length  or  above— loosely  fitted  for  real  playing  comfort.  Really  classic  is  the 
short-skirted,  pleated  tennis  dress  in  white  cotton  pique  or  broadcloth,  linen 
or  sharkskin,  knee-length  or  shorter,  round  or  slightly  V-necked,  sleeveless 
or  short-sleeved.  To  keep  the  hair  and  sun  out  of  her  eyes  she  wears  a 
white  duck  or  flannel  green-lined  visor  or  tennis  cap,  or  just  a  clean,  white 
linen  sports  handkerchief  tied  in  a  bandeau,  or  a  simple  ribbon.  Shoes  must 
be  white,  flat-heeled  with  rubber  soles.  Regular  tennis  shoes— sneakers— are 
best  with  white  anklets,  preferably  light  wool  for  comfort,  but  with  one-inch 
leeway  in  the  toes  to  allow  for  foot  expansion  during  play.  For  badminton 
there  are  special  shoes,  which  provide  a  little  more  support  than  sneakers. 
Hair  flying  loose,  clanking  jewelry,  uncomfortable  shoes  or  socks,  shorts  that 
are  too  tight  can  all  ruin  anyone's  game. 

skiing  Men  and  women  wear  the  same  kind  of  clothes.  (See  "What's  What  in 
Various  Sports.") 

duckshooting  (See  "What's  What  in  Various  Sports,"  for  this  sport.  This  is  no 
time  for  glamour,  and  warm  underpinnings  are  most  important.) 

golfing  The  classic  shirtwaist  dress  for  golf  is  the  cotton,  flannel,  gabardine,  or 
linen  golf  dress  loosely  cut  for  swing  action,  pleated  at  the  waist  in  back, 
and  fastening  down  the  front.  The  neckline  is  that  of  a  regular  shirt,  and 
the  belt  is  usually  built  in.  A  golf  dress  is  usually  in  white,  pastel,  or  neutral 
shades  and  is  worn  with  traditional  golf  shoes  with  rubber  soles  or  cleats  to 
prevent  slipping.  The  rubber-soled  saddle  oxford  (but  only  in  brown  and 
white)  is  suitable,  as  is  any  sturdy  brown  leather  walking  shoe.  No  heel- 
and-toe-less  play  shoes  or  aboriginal  sandals,  please. 

In  cold  weather  a  loose  pull-over  sweater  worn  with  a  shirt  and  com- 
fortably cut  wool  or  flannel  skirt  is  best.  A  loose  tweed  jacket  or  a  wind- 
breaker  may  be  worn  on  top  if  you  choose  to  play  when  it's  that  cold.  Brown 
leather  gloves  or  the  doeskin  golf  gloves  with  reinforced  palms  may  be  more 
comfortable  than  bare  hands.  Good  English  lisle  hose  may  replace  the  usual 
anklets  or  be  worn  with  them.  Thin  wool  stockings  are  a  good  idea.  The 
reliable,  soft  round  felt  in  a  neutral  color  or  brown  is  helpful  on  a  windy  day. 

skating  The  ballerina-type  costume  is  only  for  the  young  and  shapely.  For 
others  good,  active-length  wool  skirt,  slacks,  or  ski  pants  are  best,  with  a 
sweater  or  jacket  and  wool  stockings  (lisle  stockings  with  wool  ankle  socks 
are  appropriate  with  skirts). 

swimming  Any  woman  less  bony  than  a  shad  looks  ridiculous  in  a  bra-top 
bathing  suit  and  one  that  doesn't  at  least  partly  cover  her  thighs.  If  she  has 
anything  even  slightly  resembling  a  rubber  tire  around  her  middle,  let  her 
choose  a  bathing  suit  that  will  cover,  or  better,  mildly  control  it,  as  do  well- 
cut  lastex  suits.  The  dressmaker  suit  is  a  boon  to  less  than  perfect  figures. 

197 


To  swim  is  to  make  a  very  public  appearance.  Legs  and  underarms  should 
be  meticulously  groomed,  and  feet  should  be  carefully  pedicured. 

yachting  Your  costume  depends  on  whether  you  are  crew  or  mere  passenger 
and,  in  the  latter  case,  the  size  of  the  boat.  Best  guide,  as  always,  is  what 
the  hostess,  if  any,  is  wearing.  On  a  big  craft,  with  regular  captain  and 
hands,  ordinary  country  cotton,  flannel,  or  gabardine  sport  dresses  are  suit- 
able with  rubber-soled  shoes  to  prevent  marking  of  the  deck.  A  sweater  or 
a  sport  coat,  a  bandanna,  beret,  or  snap  brim  duck  hat  are  advisable  even 
if  you  start  out  on  a  hot  day  in  a  relative  calm.  A  bathing  suit  and  cap  may 
be  welcome.  If  the  yacht  is  to  put  ashore  at  a  club  for  dinner,  inquire  as  to 
the  advisability  of  taking  a  simple  dinner  dress  and  accessories.  There  may 
not  be  room  aboard  for  such  refinements— or  no  one  may  wish  to  bother  with 
them.  On  large  steam  yachts  with  cabins  you  take  the  kind  of  clothes  you'd 
take  for  a  cruise,  good  country  clothes,  shorts  and  slacks  if  you  wear  them. 
Nicely  tailored  gray  flannel  slacks  or  a  gray  flannel  skirt  with  a  jersey  and 
a  jacket  or  blazer  are  comfortable  and  appropriate  daytime  wear.  On  an 
elaborate  ship,  ports  of  call  and  duration  of  the  voyage  determine  your 
wardrobe.  Inquire  what  others  are  taking.  Any  ship-side  wardrobe  should 
be  reduced  to  an  absolute,  functional  minimum,  be  of  materials  that  won't 
need  constant  attention  and  stow  away  in  limited  space,  if  necessary. 

riding  In  the  real  country,  favorite  costume  for  the  ever-growing  young  is  blue 
jeans  and  a  plaid  shirt  or  pull-over  sweater,  with  moccasins.  Properly,  one 
wears  good  brown,  well-fitting  flat-heeled  boots,  that  hug  the  calf  and  come, 
like  men's  boots,  up  to  just  below  the  knee,  or,  with  jodhpurs,  simple, 
English-type,  undecorated  brown  walking  shoes  or  regular  ankle-high 
jodhpur  boots  with  strap  closing.  Breeches  worn  with  boots  have  a  slight 
flare  and  should  fit  very  comfortably.  Jodhpurs  should  be  tailor-made  or 
carefully  altered  to  fit,  to  look  well.  Fabrics  for  breeches  and  jodhpurs  is 
whipcord  in  that  pinkish  beige  called  "pinks,"  or  a  cream  or  woodsy  brown. 
Breeches  or  jodhpurs  turned  out  in  strange  colors  for  the  dude-ranch  trade 
are  best  avoided,  but  color  for  cold  weather  riding  can  run  rampant  in  waist- 
coats and  ties,  the  latter  always  of  the  sport  type  usually  in  solid  color  wool 
or  challis  or,  in  summer,  cotton. 

The  riding  shirt— a  turtle-neck  sweater  in  neutral  colors  is  acceptable, 
worn  without  a  coat,  if  desired— is  tailored  like  a  man's  (try  the  boys'  depart- 
ment for  small  sizes  at  lower  cost  than  you'd  find  in  riding  departments). 
It  is  best  in  white  cotton,  linen,  or  light  wool.  Bright  or  patterned  shirts 
should  be  avoided  except  with  blue  jeans.  In  the  country  women  riders 
wear  a  soft,  round  felt  hat  in  a  neutral  tone,  devoid  of  any  bright  trimming, 
save  perhaps  a  bird's  pinfeather  stuck  in  the  band  on  the  knot  side.  Ban- 
dannas are  acceptable  in  the  country,  but  not  for  park  riding.  If  the  hair  is 
well  anchored  or  cut  very  short,  hatless  riding  is  usual  in  the  country.  But 
flying  hair  or  hair  that  might  come  loose  during  a  fast  gallop  can  cause  an 
accident. 

19& 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

The  riding  jacket  is  always  tweed,  single-breasted  and  cut  on  man-tailored 
lines.  Fussy,  pinch-waisted  jackets  in  any  but  neutral,  woodsy  tones  are 
anathema.  Good,  sturdy  brown  leather,  chamois  (cotton  or  leather),  or 
heavy  string  gloves  are  a  necessity  to  keep  the  reins  from  cutting  into  the 
fingers.  A  good  brassiere  with  wide,  flat  straps  and  loosely  cut  soft  wool, 
rayon,  or  nylon  open-leg  panties  that  allow  plenty  of  freedom  are  necessary. 
Never  wear  any  kind  of  girdle  or  any  jewelry,  except  a  wedding  ring  and  a 
gold  safety  pin  for  the  tie  or  stock. 

A  standard  riding  crop,  always  plain,  leather  covered  or  bamboo,  is  not 
a  necessity,  nor  are  spurs.  Any  good  horse  will  respond  to  a  light  touch  of 
the  unspurred  heel  or  a  slap  of  the  hand  on  his  flank.  Some  horses  shy  when 
they  see  crop  or  spurs,  so  inquire  concerning  various  idiosyncrasies  of  a 
strange  horse  before  mounting  him.  Unless  you  are  a  very  experienced  rider, 
you  may  not  enjoy  having  to  hang  onto  the  crop  as  well  as  to  the  reins. 

There  are  kinds  of  riding  clothes  for  special  occasions,  but  they  are 
optional.  For  example,  the  side-saddle  outfit  sometimes  affected  for  show 
riding  or  the  Oxford  gray  habit  worn  with  a  stock  and  bowler.  But  even 
for  show  riding  in  the  evening,  the  traditional,  conservative  tweed  jacket  and 
proper  breeches  or  jacket  are  always  correct. 

If  you  join  a  hunt  club  and  are  an  experienced  enough  rider  to  enjoy  the 
formal  hunt,  special  hunting  clothes  in  the  traditional  style  are  called  for. 
But  if  you  are  just  to  be  a  guest  of  the  hunt  you  certainly  wouldn't  invest 
in  a  formal  hunt  outfit  for  one  occasion  or  so.  Instead,  it  is  understandable 
for  you  to  ride  in  your  usual  jacket  and  breeches  with  a  white,  collarless 
shirt  and  well-tied  and  anchored  stock,  plus  the  hunting  derby.  If  the  Master 
of  the  Hunt  is  a  great  stickler  for  form,  he  may  frown  on  your  informality. 
Ask  your  host  to  determine  his  stand  on  the  matter  before  you  accept.  If 
you  have  had  no  experience  with  jumpers,  do  not  accept  a  hunting  invita- 
tion. 

Handsome,  correct  riding  clothes  are  never  fussy-feminine.  They  should 
be  worn  with  a  certain,  restrained  air  in  deference  to  their  masculine  char- 
acter. Never  wear  anything  like  lapel  jewelry  with  a  riding  jacket,  though 
a  small  boutonniere  such  as  a  man  might  wear— a  little  bunch  of  bright  ber- 
ries, a  cornflower,  a  pink,  or  a  small  carnation— is  acceptable.  Mandarin-long, 
brilliant  red  fingernails  look  peculiar,  though  a  pinkish  polish  that  looks 
relatively  natural  seems  horsemanlike  enough.  Those  femme  fatale  nails,  by 
the  way,  look  odd,  to  say  the  least,  for  any  active  sport  and  lead  to  the 
suspicion  that  the  cultivator  of  them  is  more  at  ease  on  a  chaise  longue  than 
on  a  horse. 

shooting  Upland  shooting  where  birds  are  flushed  by  dogs  and  fly  in  front  of 
the  guns  at  some  distance  from  the  hunters  permits  the  wearing  of  other 
than  neutral  colors.  A  gay  flannel  shirt  may  be  worn  with  khaki  breeches 
laced  below  the  knee  or  with  regular  riding  pants.  Comfortable  leather  boots, 
field  boots,  or  those  high-cut,  or  moderately  high-cut  elkhide,  waterproof 
boots  with  leather,  not  rubber,  soles  are  needed.  Wool  socks  prevent  blisters, 

199 


and  cautious  people  wear  a  thinner  pair  inside  heavy  ones.  In  snake  country, 
for  example  in  Florida  and  Georgia,  boots  should  always  come  just  below 
the  knee.  (You  learn  to  look  down  each  time  before  taking  a  step,  too.) 

For  clay  pigeon  shoots,  dove  shoots,  and  turkey  drives  (in  open  country, 
not  in  the  Florida  or  Georgia  woods)  an  English  wool  or  tweed  walking  skirt 
with  jacket  or  loose  pull-over  sweater  (over  a  collared  round-necked  white 
blouse)  is  often  worn  instead  of  breeches. 

If  a  hat  is  needed,  it  is,  again,  the  trusty  neutral  soft,  unbound  felt  with 
a  dull-colored  ribbon.  Hair  should  be  very  neat,  in  a  net  if  it  is  likely  to 
fly  loose. 

In  thickly  wooded  country  briar-resistant  trousers  are  advisable  and 
white  duck  jackets  are  sometimes  worn,  or  white  duck  visored  caps,  for 
visibility.  Otherwise,  for  safety,  you  can  tie  a  clean,  white,  man's  handker- 
chief around  the  left,  or  shooting,  arm. 

For  big  game  hunting— deer  and  moose— neutral-toned,  heavy-duty 
breeches,  boots,  and  hunting  jacket  are  necessary  with  either  a  red  hunting 
cap  or  a  red  patch  on  the  back  of  the  jacket  or  a  red  handkerchief  tied 
around  the  shooting  arm.  White  must  not  be  worn,  as  a  flash  of  white 
might  be  mistaken  by  another  hunter  for  the  white  of  a  deer's  tail. 


CHAPTER    TWENTY-THREE 


THE  FASTIDIOUS  AND  WELL-MANNERED  WOMAN 


A  practical  beauty  routine  A  woman  is  well-groomed  when  she  looks  fresh, 
neat,  clean,  and  well-pressed.  This  means  a  daily,  and  often  twice  daily, 
shower  or  bath,  fresh  underwear  and  stockings  daily  or  twice  daily,  com- 
petent home  or  professional  hairdressing  at  least  once  a  week,  well-mani- 
cured hands,  no  chipped  nail  polish,  runless,  wrinkleless  stockings,  and 
shined  shoes  at  all  times,  even  for  housework. 

Beauty  care  must  be  on  a  regular  schedule,  not  just  when  social  activities 
are  planned.  Excess  hair  must  be  kept  invisible  by  one  method  or  another 
at  all  times.  Feet,  pedicured  and  with  toenails  painted  or  not,  must  be  kept 
soft  and  attractive,  knees  and  elbows  must  receive  their  regular  attention 
with  emollients,  and  eyebrows  be  kept  neat,  though  not  obviously  plucked. 
A  good  deodorant  must  be  used  daily  or  on  recommended  schedule. 

Hair  must  be  brushed  morning  and  night  with  a  clean,  firm  brush  and 
combed  with  a  good  comb  that,  like  the  brush,  is  frequently  cleaned  in 

200 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

cold  water  and  ammonia,  then  warm  suds.  A  dirty  comb  or  brush  is  as 
repellent  as  a  bath  towel  used  beyond  its  initial  freshness. 

A  well-groomed  woman  is  carefully  girdled,  if  necessary,  from  the  time 
she  gets  up  until  she  undresses  for  the  night.  If  she  has  heavy  work  to  do 
she  protects  her  hands  with  rubber  gloves  or  work  gloves  and  uses  hand 
cream.  For  dusty  work  she  covers  her  hair  with  a  clean  kerchief  and  she 
wears  clean  aprons  or  smocks  to  protect  her  clothes.  Her  handkerchief  is 
always  clean  and  when  not  in  use,  safely  on  her— not  left  on  chairs  or  tables 
around  the  house  or  office. 

The  fastidious  woman  understands  how  much  the  appearance  of  her 
hair  has  to  do  with  that  of  her  whole  person.  If  her  hair  is  fine  and  hard  to 
manage  she  arranges  it  many  times  a  day,  if  necessary,  to  preserve  the 
required  neat  look.  She  has  it  styled  in  the  way  that  stays  neat  and 
attractive  longest,  and  she  never  combs  her  hair  or  does  her  nails  in  public. 

HOUSE    DRESSES 

It  is  far  better  to  wear  a  simple,  starched  house  dress,  a  clean  one  daily,  if 
you  must  do  housework,  than  to  wear  sweaters  and  skirts  or  wool  or  other 
dresses  that  must  be  dry-cleaned,  unless  you  make  up  your  mind  to  send 
them  to  the  cleaners  the  minute  the  first  spot  appears  ( and  if  you  are  caring 
for  young  children,  this  may  mean  fresh  outer  clothes  daily,  an  expensive 
proposition).  There  are  now  dark,  winter  cottons  that  can  be  styled  like 
wool  clothes,  which  are  perfect  for  housewoik,  topped,  if  necessary,  with 
a  sweater  or  wool  jacket.  You  can  make  them  in  a  becoming  style,  or  have 
them  made,  with  matching  bibless  aprons  and  feel  like  a  well-dressed  "lady 
of  the  house,"  no  matter  what  dirty  work  you're  up  to. 

CHANGING    FOR    DINNER 

Every  woman  should  change  for  dinner,  if  only  into  a  clean  house  dress. 
Dinner  is  the  high  point  of  the  day,  the  forerunner— it  is  to  be  hoped— of  a 
free  evening.  Every  little  girl  should  be  clean  and  in  fresh  clothes,  even  if 
they  are  just  clean  pajamas  and  bathrobe  for  nursery  supper,  every  night, 
so  that  the  idea  of  changing  for  dinner  is  inculcated  at  the  earliest  possible 
time.  Fresh  clothes  and  make-up,  even  if  you  are  to  be  alone  with  the 
children  for  a  simple  meal,  are  psychologically  sound  and  bring  a  needed 
change  in  the  day's  pace.  Fresh  grooming  for  evening  is  one  of  the  criteria 
of  gentility. 

MAKE-UP 

Our  idea  of  what's  permissible  in  make-up  has  undergone  a  drastic  change 
in  recent  years.  It  is  rare  to  see  a  woman  over  eighteen  without  lipstick  and 
powder. 

Lipstick  should  follow  the  natural  lines  of  the  mouth.  Colored  nail  polish 

201 


is  more  usual  than  not,  although  it  is  attractive  to  see  well-groomed,  healthy 
nails  that  have  merely  been  burled. 

Mascara,  once  used  only  at  night  by  some  women,  is  frequently  worn 
day  and  night  and  in  a  variety  of  colors,  from  blue  and  green  to  various 
shades  of  brown  or  black.  Heavy  black  mascara  is  often  hard-looking,  but  the 
others,  properly  applied  (to  the  upper  lashes  only  in  the  daytime)  and  of 
the  non-smear  variety,  can  help  the  appearance  very  much,  especially  that 
of  a  person  with  pale  lashes.  Eyebrows,  if  they  need  darkening,  should  be 
lightly  rubbed  with  an  eyebrow  pencil  the  reverse  of  the  hair  growth,  then 
brushed  back  into  place,  never  drawn  on.  The  eyebrow  pencil  can  be  used 
adroitly  with  an  upward  stroke,  especially  at  night,  at  the  far  corners  of 
the  eyes  to  give  them  depth  and  to  elongate  them,  but  the  line  should  be 
blurred  with  the  finger  tips. 

Rouge,  when  used  (and  the  older  we  grow  the  older  it  makes  us  look), 
is  often  best  not  on  the  cheeks.  It  can  bring  a  glow  to  some  faces  if  it  is 
lightly  applied  above  the  eyelid,  shading  toward  the  temples.  A  little  on  the 
vertical  planes  of  the  nose  bridge,  on  the  chin  or  the  ear  lobes  can  play  nice 
tricks,  but  experiment  is  needed. 

Eye  shadow  is  perilous  stuff.  It  must  be  applied  with  a  light  touch,  if  at 
all.  If  nature  has  darkened  your  lids  naturally,  that  is  a  cue,  often,  that  you 
can  wear  eye  shadow.  If  your  lids  are  small  and  light,  shadow  often  makes 
you  look  dead  tired.  You'll  be  better  off  with  mascara. 

It  is  often  more  youthful  to  leave  all  but  the  nose  unpowdered  and  to 
allow  a  little  shine  on  your  face.  Pancake  make-up,  or  a  good  powder  base, 
helps  at  night  to  keep  make-up  fresh,  but  daylight  hours  too  often  disclose 
its  masklike  properties. 

A  pocket-sized  magnifying  make-up  mirror  is  a  requisite  for  every  woman. 
It  should  be  consulted  regularly. 


COSMETIC  DEFECTS  AND  PLASTIC  SURGERY 

excess  hair  Unwanted  hair,  that  which  is  not  routinely  removed  after  the 
bath,  as  necessary,  should  be  professionally  removed  as  soon  as  it  appears 
or,  if  fine  and  downy,  bleached.  Even  quite  young  girls  often  have  excess 
facial  hair  which  causes  them  embarrassment,  yet  it  is  simple  and  relatively 
painless  to  have  it  removed  by  electrolysis.  Unattractive  hair  lines  or  too 
heavy  eyebrows  can  be  permanently  corrected  the  same  way.  The  operator 
should  be  recommended  by  the  family  doctor,  as  inexpert,  careless  work 
can  cause  infection  and  scarring. 

Hair  removal  over  large  areas,  such  as  the  legs  and  thighs,  is  lengthy 
and  expensive,  but,  where  necessary,  certainly  feasible  and  often  advisable. 
It  should  never  be  tweezed,  especially  around  the  mouth  or  nose,  not  only 
because  tweezing  injures  the  roots  and  may  make  permanent  removal  by 
electrolysis  impossible,  but  because  there  is  often  the  possibility  of  very 
serious  infection. 

202 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

moles  and  warts  Brown  moles,  unless  they  begin  to  grow  or  are  subject  to 
constant  irritation,  are  harmless  and  need  be  removed  only  if  they  really 
constitute  a  blemish.  Often  they  are  considered  natural  beauty  spots.  But 
when  they  are  unattractively  placed  or  in  danger  of  irritation  they  should 
be  removed  by  a  competent  doctor,  not  by  a  beauty  operator.  The  com- 
monest method,  which  is  quick  and  painless,  is  for  the  doctor  to  cauterize 
them  with  an  electric  cautery  after  first  anesthetizing  them.  After  one  or 
more  treatments,  they  turn  black  and  drop  off,  leaving,  usually,  an  indefin- 
able scar.  Hairy  moles  should  never  be  tweezed,  though  the  hairs  around 
them  may  be  carefully  cut  off,  as  needed. 

The  horny  warts  that  are  so  familiar  on  children's  hands  sometimes  appear 
on  those  of  adults,  along  with  the  difficult-to-treat  palmar  or  plantar  warts 
on  hands  or,  in  the  latter  case,  the  soles  of  the  feet.  These  warts  often 
disappear  without  treatment,  but  sometimes  respond  to  X  ray  or  acid, 
professionally  administered,  as  does  the  common  child's  wart. 

BmTHMARKS,  malocclusion,  needs  for  plastic  surgery  There  are  various 
kinds  of  birthmarks,  some  not  in  the  least  disfiguring,  and  all  usually  subject 
to  modification  by  make-up  or  correction  by  X  ray  or  plastic  surgery.  Birth- 
marked  infants  now  usually  receive  C02  (dry  ice)  treatments  which  elimi« 
nate  or  greatly  reduce  the  newly  made  marks. 

Many  a  girl  or  even  older  woman  can  improve  her  appearance  by  having 
protruding  or  crooked  teeth  corrected  by  orthodonture.  Although  this  is  an 
expensive  and  lengthy  proposition— taking  usually  two  years  in  most  cases- 
it  often  pays  for  itself  in  lessening  decay  and  delaying  of  gum  troubles,  not 
to  mention  the  increased  self-confidence  resulting  from  often  dramatically 
improved  appearance. 

Plastic  surgery  has  made  fantastic  strides  as  a  result  of  two  world  wars. 
Its  cosmetic  uses  are  really  wonderful.  It  corrects  ugly,  pendulous  breasts, 
usually  during  fairly  brief  hospitalization,  it  removes  the  dowager's  dewlap 
and  takes  layers  of  fat  off  the  flabby  abdomen,  all  with  the  minimum  of 
trauma,  as  the  surgery  is  connected  with  a  sound  rather  than  sick  organism. 
Truly  disfiguring  noses  are  tailored  to  one's  face,  protruding  ears  are  fastened 
back,  and  harelips  made  whole,  all  to  the  benefit  of  the  ego.  But  this  delicate 
work  must  be  done,  of  course,  by  real  experts  approved  by  one's  own  doctor, 
members  of  recognized  medical  and  surgical  societies.  Most  of  our  physical 
defects  need  only  the  correction  of  our  point  of  view,  however,  and  plastic 
surgery,  dramatic  as  it  is,  is  not  always  advisable  or  really  needed. 


HOW    TO    SIT    COMFORTABLY    AND    GRACEFULLY 

You  never  see  a  product  of  Victorian  days  sprawled  in  a  chair.  Women 
trained  in  the  austere  etiquette  of  that  time  will  invariably  select  the 
straightest,  most  uncompromising-looking  chair  in  the  room  and  sit  on  it, 
spine  straight,  hips  flush  with  the  back  of  the  seat,  feet  parallel  and  flat  on 

203 


the  floor.  It  was  taught  that  a  lady  never  crossed  her  legs  or  sat  with  hei 
stomach  protruding. 

Today  with  fewer  and  fewer  uncompromising  chairs  being  manufactured, 
we  are  more  or  less  forced  to  lounge  as  we  sit.  Sofas— the  modern  ones— are 
often  so  deep  that  the  only  way  we  can  get  back  support  is  to  boost  ourselves 
onto  them  with  our  feet  sticking  straight  out  in  front  of  us  or  curled  as 
gracefully  as  possible  under  us.  If  we  have  short  legs,  we  have  a  terrible 
time  with  most  modern  furniture.  It  throws  us  into  unlovely  attitudes,  and 
sometimes  we  can't  get  up  without  help. 

On  entering  a  room,  try  to  select  a  chair  or  sofa  that  suits  your  height 
and  figure.  If  you  are  overweight  and  short  you  will  not  look  your  best  on 
a  high  spindly  chair  that  leaves  your  feet  dangling  and  causes  you  to  bulge 
over  the  seat.  If  you  get  down  into  one  of  those  modern  bucket  seats  you 
will  need  a  strong  arm  to  get  you  out  again.  If  you  sit  on  a  sofa  with  a  wide 
seat  you  must  perch  on  the  edge— which  makes  both  yourself  and  others 
uncomfortable— or  more  or  less  sink  back  into  the  depths  until  you  can  be 
helped  up  again.  Those  low,  deep-seated  chairs,  if  they  do  not  have  bucket 
seats,  are  good  for  you  but  bad  for  a  long-legged  woman,  who  has  no  alterna- 
tive but  to  stick  her  feet  straight  out  in  front  of  her  or  else  sit  jackknife 
fashion. 

In  sitting,  be  sure  to  look  at  the  chair  before  bending  your  knees.  Before 
your  knees  actually  bend,  the  back  of  your  leg  should  actually  come  in 
contact  with  the  chair.  When  you  have  received  this  indication  of  the 
chair's  position,  you  should  bend  your  knees,  lean  forward  slightly  and 
go  gently  into  the  chair,  maintaining  careful  contact  with  the  floor.  This  way, 
if  the  chair  is  deep  or  tippy,  you  won't  be  thrown  backward  or  forward. 

The  deep,  wide  sofa,  modern  style,  is  supposed  to  accommodate  your 
entire  thighs  and  all  or  part  of  your  legs.  The  position  of  the  cushions  is  an 
indication  of  where  your  spine  is  supposed  to  be.  But  if  you  are  not  supple, 
avoid  such  Turkish  traps.  If  you  do  sit  on  them,  don't  flop,  then  squirm  back 
into  position.  Instead,  seat  yourself  on  the  edge,  then,  placing  your  hands 
on  the  sofa,  ease  yourself  back  with  a  lifting  motion.  A  woman  is  more 
comfortable  on  such  articles  of  furniture  if  she  has  on  an  evening-length 
skirt,  slacks,  or  lounging  pajamas.  But  sometimes  it  is  possible  to  rearrange 
the  pillows  on  such  a  couch  so  that  there  is  less  width  and  it  can  be  used 
comfortably  by  someone  who  does  not  wish  to  lounge. 

Crossing  the  legs  is  no  longer  considered  masculine  in  women,  but  there 
are  good  reasons  to  avoid  it  is  much  as  possible.  First,  unless  one  has  slender 
legs,  it  creates  unattractive  bulges  on  the  leg  and  thigh  crossed  over.  Sec- 
ondly, it  is  said  to  encourage  varicose  veins  by  interfering  with  circulation. 
So  if  you  do  cross  your  legs  habitually,  change  the  cross  from  left  to  right 
and  from  right  to  left  at  frequent  intervals.  It  is  much  more  graceful  to  sit, 
model-style,  with  the  toe  of  one  foot  drawn  up  to  the  instep  of  the  other  and 
with  the  knees  close  together,  if  one  wishes  to  vary  the  position  of  the  feet. 
Further,  crossing  the  legs  is  informal.  It  should  not  be  done  at  the  dinner 

204 


PART  TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 


table,  in  church,  or  at  any  formal  occasion— or  when  a  girl  is  trying  to  make 
a  businesslike  impression  in  applying  for  a  job. 

When  the  legs  are  crossed,  attention  should  not  be  called  to  the  fact  by 
bouncing  the  free  foot.  And  skirts  should  be  full  enough  and  long  enough 
not  to  make  the  position  a  burlesque  on  how  a  lady  should  look  seated. 


WHEN    WOMEN   REMOVE    THEIR    HATS 

In  the  country,  when  hats  are  worn  at  all  by  women,  they  may  be  removed 
with  coats  if  desired.  It  is  usual  at  house  christenings,  weddings,  and 
funerals  to  treat  the  house,  for  the  occasion,  as  if  it  were  a  house  of  worship 
and  for  women  to  keep  their  hats  on.  This,  however,  is  not  technically 
necessary,  either  for  guests  or  for  the  woman  of  the  household.  At  gardeu 
parties  or  garden  weddings  it  is  purely  a  matter  of  preference  whether  a 
woman,  who  has  been  shown  to  a  cloak  room  first,  decides  to  remove  her 
hat  or  leave  it  on  as  an  important  part  of  her  costume. 

In  town  at  formal  receptions,  teas,  luncheons,  and  meetings  women  guests 
usually  keep  hats  on  if  they  have  worn  them.  However,  except  perhaps  at 
the  home  of  an  elderly  and  very  conservative  woman,  on  such  an  occasion 
the  lack  of  a  hat  would  not  be  in  any  way  remarked  these  days.  In  fact, 
even  at  formal  luncheons  the  modern  hostess  often  suggests  that  guests 
leave  their  hats  with  their  coats,  if  they  wish.  Certainly  if  most  of  the 
women  at  such  an  affair  are  hatless,  one  or  two  women  who  cling  to  the 
older  convention  in  the  matter  will  seem  inelastic,  to  say  the  least. 

Hats  worn  with  dinner  suits  or  dinner  dresses  are  intended  to  remain 
in  place  throughout  the  evening  and  are  usually  tiny  enough  not  to  obstruct 
the  view  of  those  behind  one  in  the  theater.  If  there  is  any  doubt  about 
a  hat  obscuring  someone's  view  at  the  theater,  the  movies,  or  a  meeting, 
a  woman  should  remove  it  promptly.  If  she's  asked  to  remove  it  by  someone 
having  difficulty  seeing  beyond  her,  she  should  do  it  immediately  with 
murmured  apologies. 


A  woman's  manners  in  the  business  world 

However  competent  she  may  be  in  business  no  woman  should  conduct 
herself  in  any  but  a  dignified  feminine  manner.  The  brusque,  unwomanly 
woman  is  anything  but  attractive  in  or  out  of  business.  And,  equally,  of 
course,  the  overly-feminine,  coy  female  is  just  as  uncomfortable  to  have 
around. 

One  time  after  I  had  addressed  a  directors'  meeting  the  chairman,  seeking 
to  be  complimentary,  said,  "We  enjoy  having  her  with  us.  She's  just  like 
one  of  the  men."  I  was  not  complimented  and  replied,  pleasantly,  I  hope, 
"Mr.  X,  I  may  be  able  to  meet  with  you  on  your  own  ground  professionally, 
but  I  am  not  like  one  of  your  own  men  and  have  no  desire  to  be."  He  got 
the  point  and  from  that  time  on  I  had  my  place  and  the  men  had  theirs.  My 

205 


professional  standing  was  improved,  and  my  femininity  politely  accepted. 
Every  woman  who  refused  to  become  'one  of  the  boys"  in  business  and  who 
insists  she  be  treated  as  a  lady  in  the  human  rather  than  in  the  drawing  room 
sense  does  her  share  toward  a  better  understanding  between  the  sexes. 

Business  leaders  are  quite  conscious  of  the  fact  that  women  in  business 
are  also  pulled  in  the  direction  of  domesticity.  Either  they  are  in  the  mar- 
riage market,  with  few  exceptions,  or  involved  in  the  dual  and  difficult  role 
of  marriage  plus  a  career.  Today  more  married  women  than  single  women 
are  in  business.  They  are  there  to  earn  their  livings  or  to  help  out  the 
family  income.  And  most  of  them  have  the  complete  management  of  their 
homes  as  well. 

The  married  woman  with  a  job  in  and  out  of  the  home  is  working  under 
pressure,  even  if  she  is  efficient  and  relatively  relaxed  about  both  home  and 
job.  There  are  always  the  unpredictables  to  cope  with— Johnny's  measles,  the 
maid  who  leaves  without  notice,  her  husband's  possible  transfer  to  another 
city.  A  woman  must  be  superlatively  good  at  her  job  to  give  her  employer 
full  value  while  working  as  well  as  a  head  of  a  family.  Her  personal  prob- 
lems must  be  kept  carefully  in  the  background,  and  she  must  necessarily 
work  more  efficiently  on  her  two  or  more  jobs  than  does  the  man  by  her  side, 
who  traditionally  is  always  protected  against  personal  encroachments  upon 
his  business  or  professional  life. 

The  woman  who  runs  a  job  and  a  home  often  feels  she  deserves  all  kinds 
of  special  consideration  from  both  her  family  and  her  employer.  Of  course 
she  never  can  get  it,  because,  despite  the  material  benefits  her  job  brings, 
her  family  is  always  resentful  of  mother's  time  away  from  home  and  her 
employer  or  associates  are  necessarily  coldly  objective  about  her  ability  on 
the  job.  "Miss  Barnes  didn't  get  that  report  done  for  Mathewson  because 
her  husband's  home  with  the  flu"  seems  an  untenable  excuse  to  someone 
paying  well  for  Miss  Barnes's  supposedly  undivided  attention. 

It's  hard  to  face  this,  but  no  woman  can  find  happiness  in  putting  career 
above  her  husband  and  family.  Once  she  has  taken  on  woman's  natural 
responsibilities,  whatever  work  she  undertakes  must  be  done  in  a  way  that 
deprives  the  family  the  least— for  some  deprivation  they  must  endure  if  she 
works  at  all.  Once  encumbered  she  must  have  something  very  special  in  the 
way  of  talent  to  offer  an  employer  to  make  hiring  her  worth  while,  at  least 
while  her  children  are  young.  Everywhere  we  meet  women  who  seem 
to  overcome  the  difficulties  of  the  dual  role,  but  the  hard  truth  is  that  more 
women  with  young  children  fail  at  making  happy  homes  while  working 
full  time  than  succeed. 

With  this  in  mind  let  us  go  on  to  the  problems  of  women  in  business. 

Secretarial  schools  send  forth  their  fresh  young  graduates  well  equipped 
with  elementary  rules  of  office  etiquette.  As  a  result  the  American  secretary 
is  usually  a  well-mannered,  poised  young  woman.  The  girl  who  has  not 
gone  through  business  school,  however,  and  who  comes  to  a  firm  in  a 
junior  executive  capacity  often  has  much  to  learn. 

eo6 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

appearance  Appearance  is  of  primary  importance,  of  course.  Neatness  and 
quietness  of  apparel  are  important.  Conservative  hairdressing,  make-up,  and 
a  minimum  of  jewelry  are  equally  so.  Sunback  dresses,  evening-sheer  stock- 
ings, French  heels,  Mandarin  nails,  sweaters,  and  overwhelming  perfume 
are  taboo. 

promptness  Employers  are  paying  for  time  on  the  job,  so  women  executives, 
junior  or  senior,  should  get  to  their  work  promptly  and  once  in  the  office 
start  the  day  with  a  minimum  of  primping  and  coloquy  in  the  restroom. 
Make-up  repair  should  be  in  private,  never  at  a  desk,  except  in  a  private 
office. 

taking  orders  One  of  the  most  important  things  a  woman  in  business  can 
learn  is  to  take  an  order  and  carry  it  out.  This  requires  listening  to  the  order 
without  interruption,  then  asking  any  necessary  questions  that  may  clarify  it. 
The  woman  who  cultivates  the  ability  to  listen,  to  grasp  instructions,  and 
to  carry  them  out  without  chatter  or  argument  gets  on  in  a  man's  world. 

smoking  and  eating  in  the  office  Most  organizations  have  rules  concerning 
smoking  on  the  job  and  eating  at  desks.  If  smoking  is  permitted,  women 
should  smoke  in  such  a  way  that  it  does  not  interfere  with  work  output. 
A  chain-smoking  woman  is  much  more  likely  to  be  criticized  than  is  a  man 
with  the  same  habit.  Candy  eating  or  coffee  drinking,  when  permitted  at 
a  desk,  should  be  done  during  a  work-pause,  then  wrappers  or  containers 
removed  from  sight. 

telephone  calls  Even  a  well-placed  woman  executive  limits  her  incoming 
and  outgoing  telephone  calls.  Social  chit-chat  in  an  office  annoys  other 
workers  and,  even  when  indulged  in  by  an  employer,  sets  a  poor  example. 

personal  letter  writing  and  callers  Personal  letters  should  not  be  written 
on  office  time,  unless  they  are  done  during  lunch  hours.  Friends  and  rela- 
tives should  be  strongly  discouraged  from  visiting  employees  or  even  top 
executives.  When  such  a  visit  does  occur  it  should  not  be  made  a  general 
social  occasion. 


THE    WOMAN    EXECUTIVE 

A  woman  who  achieves  executive  status  of  some  kind  must  guard  against 
being  dictatorial  at  home  as  well  as  in  the  office.  Men  meet  with  their 
frustrations  on  the  way  up  but  not  to  the  same  degree,  that  is,  on  the 
ground  of  sex,  as  women.  Therefore  when  a  woman  does  arrive  she  tends 
to  become  irritatingly  important.  When  she  gives  an  order  she  wants  action, 
and  never  mind  the  human  element.  It  is  very  hard  sometimes  for  a  woman 
to  continue  to  be  warm  and  feminine  and  kindly  once  she  has  received 
business  or  professional  recognition.  Actually,  she  needs  all  these  qualities 
more  than  ever  if  she  is  to  keep  on  advancing  and  if  her  marital  chances  or 
relations  are  not  to  be  harmed. 

207 


The  very  important  woman  is  a  tempting  target  for  a  jealous  male  asso- 
ciate. She  rubs  him  the  wrong  way,  threatens  his  position,  overrides  his 
suggestions,  and  tramples  on  his  pride.  She  forgets  the  feminine  graces 
and  cajoleries  and  tries  to  meet  him  man-to-man.  This  leads  to  inevitable 
defeat.  If  women  in  business  would  only  remember  that  they  are  women 
in  business  they  would  meet  so  much  less  resistance  from  men.  No  amount  of 
professional  conditioning  will  ever  overcome  the  very  real  fact  of  femaleness. 

attitude  towakd  other  women  It  has  been  said  many  times  that  women 
have  difficulty  as  executives  because  they  treat  other  women  business  asso- 
ciates as  implacable  rivals,  as  if  they  were  competing  on  a  sexual  rather 
than  an  intellectual  level.  This  does  seem  to  be  true,  that  there  is  little  real 
solidarity  among  women.  I  believe  that  with  woman's  increasing  sense  of 
security  a  more  generous  attitude  toward  women  co-workers  willcome  too. 
At  any  rate,  it  helps  to  be  conscious  of  the  competitive  feeling  and  thus 
make  an  effort  to  modify  it.  (See  "A  Man's  Manners  in  the  Business  World.") 


WHEN    THE    WOMAN    PAYS    THE    BILL 

Occasionally  in  business  it  is  necessary  for  a  woman  executive  to  pay  enter- 
tainment or  other  bills  for  men  clients  or  to  take  their  share  of  checks  when 
lunching  with  men  business  associates.  In  all  cases  (for  the  sake  of  the 
man)  a  woman  tries  to  avoid  a  public  display  of  her  financial  arrangements. 
Onlookers  cannot  know  the  circumstances,  and  men  are  easily  embarrassed 
by  a  career  woman's  usurpation  of  their  traditional  role.  Even  if  she  is 
lunching  a  junior  executive,  it  is  courteous  to  allow  him  the  dignity  of  seem- 
ing to  pay  the  bill. 

The  arrangements  for  the  preservation  of  male  pride  can  be  made  in 
several  ways.  With  an  important  client,  whom  the  firm  wishes  to  entertain 
but  who  would  certainly  not  permit  a  woman  to  pay  the  bill,  the  obvious 
solution  is  the  selection  of  a  restaurant  where  the  firm  maintains  a  charge 
account  for  entertainment  purposes.  Even  the  tip  is  included  in  the  bill, 
and  the  woman  signs  the  check  on  the  way  out.  She  may  ask  the  room 
waiter  in  advance  that  the  check  not  be  presented  at  the  table  but  be  left 
for  her  at  the  desk.  When  such  tact  is  not  necessary  and  the  co-worker  or 
client  are  on  easy  terms,  the  woman  can  quietly  lay  a  bill  on  the  table 
toward  the  end  of  the  meal  and  say,  "Settle  the  check  for  me  please.  Of 
course  it's  on  my  expense  account."  She  should  not  actually  pay  the  waiter, 
pick  up  the  change,  and  leave  the  tip  herself.  (Any  change  the  man  gives 
her  on  the  way  out  or  elsewhere  tells  her  the  amount  of  both  bill  and  tip 
for  her  expense  record.)  Or,  if  she's  sure  the  client  or  co-worker  can  pick 
up  the  check  and  will  willingly  settle  with  her  later— not  outside  on  the 
street— she  can  say,  "Let  me  know  what  this  comes  to  when  we  leave.  You 
are  the  firm's  guest  today." 

208 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 


THE    SINGLE    WOMAN 

how  to  make  friends  in  a  big  city  Men  have  less  trouble  than  women  adjust- 
ing socially  to  big  city  life  because,  presumably,  they  are  aggressive,  while 
women  are  supposedly  passive  in  such  contacts.  A  girl  living  in,  say,  New 
York,  after  being  brought  up  in  a  small  town,  can  grow  very  lonely,  waiting 
until  she  is  asked  out  by  the  all-too-few  unattached  males  she  may  meet  in 
her  office  or  elsewhere.  A  young  man  need  not  be  even  passably  attractive 
to  have  as  much  social  life  as  he  wishes  in  such  a  metropolitan  center.  The 
competition  for  him,  at  least  as  an  escort,  is  very  keen,  even  if  his  prospects 
are  meager  and  his  spending  money  minuscule. 

The  girl  who  can  surround  herself  with  some  sort  of  home  background 
has  the  best  chance  of  a  full  social  life  in  a  big  city.  Entertainment  outside 
of  the  home  is  so  expensive  that  a  girl  who  has  a  home  to  which  a  man 
may  come  and  be  entertained  has  a  better  chance  than  the  siren  who  lives 
in  a  hotel  room  and  must  be  taken  out  continuously  to  meals,  movies, 
theaters  and  night  clubs.  Such  a  girl  costs  too  much  and  is  too  wearing. 
And,  even  if  she  is  really  interested  in  a  man,  she  never  gets  to  know 
him  as  she  should  in  such  an  artificial  atmosphere.  The  less  beauteous  girl 
with  a  stove  and  fireplace  of  her  own  has  the  advantage. 

should  a  girl  live  alone?  Living  alone  in  a  big  city  is  for  most  girls  who  try 
it  a  disillusioning  experience.  Even  if  they  are  able  to  find  and  furnish— and 
support— attractive  apartments  all  by  themselves,  they  find  that  the  draw- 
backs to  living  alone  are,  among  other  things,  loneliness,  inertia  concerning 
household  chores,  and  lack  of  at  least  implied  protection. 

A  girl  with  her  own  apartment  in  a  city  is  not  insured  against  loneliness. 
Often  she  tries  to  be  out  every  night  or  to  have  guests  to  combat  loneliness. 
If  she  does  stay  home  alone  she  listens  for  the  telephone,  and  if  it  doesn't 
ring  she  feels  abandoned.  If  she  takes  advantage  of  her  ability  to  act 
as  a  hostess  and  invites  a  young  man  home  to  dinner  she  runs  the  risk 
of  not  being  able  to  keep  the  rest  of  the  evening  on  the  easy,  pleasant  basis 
she  desired.  Too  many  young  men,  finding  themselves  in  a  girl's  bachelor 
apartment  without  the  steadying  presence  of  other  guests,  imagine  that  more 
than  conversation  is  expected  of  them. 

teamwork  The  girl  who  has  a  good  time  in  New  York  or  other  large  cities  is 
the  girl  who  lives  co-operatively.  She  finds  one  or  more  other  congenial  girls 
(preferably  not  more  than  two)  approximately  her  own  age,  and  together 
they  rent  a  furnished  or  unfurnished  apartment,  which  they  run  on  the 
basis  of  their  individual  capabilities. 

As  often  as  they  wish,  such  girls  cook  at  home,  thus  keeping  down 
expenses  and  eating  better  meals.  They  have  more  social  life  with  men, 
because  they  can  freely  invite  attractive  ones  they  meet  to  come  to  their 
home  without  fear  of  being  misunderstood,  as  there  is  always  a  "roommate" 
at  least  in  the  background  to  dispel  any  mistaken  ideas.  And,  on  nights  wheiv 

209 


there  are  no  dates  or  prospects  of  them,  the  household  tasks  can  be  done 
co-operatively  in  short  order  and  can  be  relaxing  rather  than  annoying. 
Too,  by  pooling  their  expense  money  such  girls  can  usually  afford  a  little 
outside  help  for  heavy  cleaning. 

Such  living  can  prepare  girls,  who  have  always  had  everything  done  for 
them  at  home,  for  future  homes  of  their  own  if  they  go  about  it  in  the 
right  way.  They  can  learn  what  it  is  to  serve  dinner  to  guests,  to  manage 
a  budget,  pay  household  bills,  and  meet  regular  obligations  such  as  the 
rent.  They  learn,  too,  how  to  divide  the  labor  so  that  no  one  person  does 
most  of  it. 

choosing  a  roommate  When  a  girl  decides  to  share  an  apartment  with  another 
girl  she  should  try  to  find  someone  from  more  or  less  the  same  background 
as  her  own,  preferably  a  long-standing  friend  whose  crotchets  and  personality 
she  knows  all  about.  They  should  have  approximately  the  same  income  and 
be  able  to  share  the  financial  responsibilities  of  the  venture  on  an  even  basis. 
If  the  income  of  one  is  considerably  larger  than  that  of  the  other,  the  living 
should  be  scaled  to  the  lower  of  the  two  incomes  so  there  never  need  be  the 
feeling  that  one  girl  has  more  right  to  the  place  than  the  other. 

If  possible,  the  apartment  should  have  at  least  two  rooms,  with  the  bath 
accessible  to  both  the  living  room  and  the  bedroom.  A  floor  plan  that  re- 
quires anyone  entering  the  bath  to  go  through  the  bedroom  is  poor  for 
sharing,  as  the  girls'  social  activities  are  not  always  simultaneous.  A  girl  who 
must  sit  up  when  she's  sleepy  because  her  roommate  is  entertaining  is  not 
going  to  enjoy  such  an  arrangement  for  long— especially  if  she  has  fewer 
dates  than  her  friend. 

finances  In  such  a  shared  apartment  there  is  usually  one  girl  who  is  better 
at  money  matters  than  the  other,  or  who  has  more  time  for  these  details.  A 
budget  must  be  worked  out,  and  a  part  of  each  salary  turned  over  each 
week  to  the  treasurer  for  necessary  disbursement.  One  girl  should  never 
carry  the  other,  but  all  debts  should  be  settled  with  alacrity  if  the  working 
arrangement  is  to  prosper.  The  most  important  obligation,  the  rent,  must 
be  paid  promptly  each  month  and  the  receipts  kept  if  cash  has  been  paid. 
Food  bills  for  shared  meals  are  evenly  divided,  but  each  girl  takes  care  of 
her  own  extra  entertainment  costs. 

The  lease  for  such  an  apartment  is  better  taken  out  in  the  names  of  the 
co-operating  lessees,  where  the  landlord  is  willing.  But  where  he  prefers 
one  signee,  the  other  tenant  or  tenants  should  hold  a  brief  written  agreement 
on  the  length  of  their  shared  tenancy  and  the  terms  of  it  from  the  holder  of 
the  lease.  It  is  also  well  to  have  duplicate  or  triplicate  lists  of  all  the  belong- 
ings and  effects  in  the  apartment  that  are  being  shared,  with  a  notation  as 
to  ownership,  whether  joint  if  they  were  bought  out  of  pooled  funds— and 
what  the  cost  was— or  individual.  Such  a  businesslike  view  right  at  the 
beginning  helps  to  keep  the  arrangement  on  an  even  keel,  and,  in  the  event 
one  girl  decides  to  leave  for  one  reason  or  another,  it  makes  her  responsi 
bilities  clear. 

210 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

Such  a  shared  home  needs  house  rules,  too,  drawn  up  by  the  participants. 
Perhaps  the  girls  will  agree  to  let  each  have  one  set  night  to  have  the 
apartment  alone  without  the  other  or  others.  Maybe  one  night  will  be  put 
aside  as  a  "no  visitors"  night,  when  hair  can  be  set,  bureau  drawers  straight- 
ened, and  the  housework  finished  up.  Certainly  essential  tasks  must  be 
assigned— the  cooking,  the  bedmaking,  dusting,  and  cleaning,  laundry,  shop- 
ping, and  bookkeeping,  the  division  of  the  chores  dependent  on  the  amount 
of  time  each  girl  can  give  and  her  abilities. 

A  little  box  by  the  telephone  should  remind  visitors  to  pay  for  their  own 
calls  and  encourage  the  girls  to  deposit  their  tolls  for  out-of-town  calls  right 
away  or  at  least  make  a  record  of  who  made  them.  Only  the  base  rate  for 
the  telephone  should  be  equally  shared  by  each. 

If  all  the  rules  of  courtesy  are  followed,  such  living  can  be  most  con- 
genial. It  can  lead  to  a  full  and  happy  social  life,  with  good  possibility  of 
marriage,  even  in  a  crowded  unfriendly  city  where  the  competition  for  the 
eligible  males  is  much  fiercer  than  it  would  be  in  the  small  town  that 
seemed  to  offer  little  in  the  way  of  career  or  romance. 


DOES    BECOMING    A    "JOINER"    HELP? 

Suppose  for  some  reason,  perhaps  her  inability  to  find  a  congenial  girl  with 
whom  to  share  a  home,  a  newcomer  to  a  large  city  must  live  in  a  girls'  club, 
a  boarding  house,  or  a  small  hotel.  What  are  her  chances  of  having  a  pleasant 
social  life?  Unless  she  makes  some  definite  and  continuing  effort  to  meet 
people,  even  a  pretty,  attractive  girl  may  be  lonely  during  her  free  hours. 

Before  going  to  a  place  like  New  York,  Washington,  or  Chicago  to  work, 
young  people— men  and  women— should  attempt  to  find  someone  who  can 
give  them  social  introductions  in  their  new  home.  It  makes  much  difference 
if  there  is  someone  to  take  a  stranger  in  hand  and  see  that  he  or  she  meets 
others  of  the  same  age  and  background.  If  there  is  at  least  one  real  home 
where  such  a  stranger  may  go  occasionally,  it  can  help  him  find  his  own 
niche  among  new  friends. 

If  there  is  no  one  at  all  to  whom  one  may  go  in  a  big  city  for  advice  and 
companionship  outside  of  working  hours,  the  next  best  thing  is  to  find  one 
or  two  groups  one  can  join.  But  to  become  a  "joiner"  in  the  sense  of  map- 
ping out  a  continuous  plan  of  activity  in  an  effort  to  escape  loneliness  may 
mean  that  with  so  much  to  do  a  newcomer  really  enjoys  nothing,  gets  to 
know  no  one  well  enough  in  her  rush  from  club  to  club  and  classroom  to 
classroom. 

A  church  with  a  real  and  youthful  social  life  can  bring  sound  interests, 
as  the  stranger  is  always  welcome  and  can  quickly  be  made  to  feel  at  home 
in  familiar  activities.  A  hobby  group  is  a  sure  way  to  find  congenial  friends. 
Adult  education  courses  keep  free  hours  busy  and  productive  and  may 
lead  to  new  skills  and  friends.  A  college  club— any  group  that  brings  some- 
thing of  a  former  background  into  the  new  life  in  the  city— helps  orientation. 

£11 


Often  an  out-of-towner  feels  a  little  awkward  at  first  in  a  metropolis.  After 
a  while  she  will  realize  that  a  certain  polish  may  be  acquired.  Anything 
that  makes  her  feel  she  "doesn't  belong"  can  usually  be  corrected,  from  a 
broad  regional  accent  (helped  by  diction  lessons)  to  ungainliness  on  the 
dance  floor  or  an  unsureness  about  clothes.  The  "Y's"  abound  with  all  kinds 
of  self-improvement  courses  for  people  who  suffer  from  feelings  of  inade- 
quacy one  way  or  the  other.  Such  courses  are  of  great  help,  especially  in 
big  cities  where  on  all  sides  others  press  for  advantage. 


BIG    CITIES    ARE    STIMULATING 

Once  the  effort  to  break  in  socially  is  made,  the  newcomer  finds  most  big 
cities  culturally  stimulating  and  financially  rewarding,  as  small  towns  can 
rarely  be.  A  city  like  New  York  is  full  of  people  expressing  or  trying  to 
express  a  wide  variety  of  talents,  talents  for  which  there  may  have  been 
no  market  at  home.  One  needs  only  to  make  oneself  a  small  part  of  the 
profession  or  business  that  appeals  to  find  satisfaction  and  a  feeling  of 
"belonging,"  even  in  a  city  of  seven  million,  plus.  And  once  this  feeling  is 
achieved,  the  stranger  is  one  no  longer  but  able  to  realize  that  New  York, 
especially,  is  made  up  of  millions  like  himself  who  came  from  other  places 
in  the  world.  One  may  walk  for  miles  in  the  city  before  finding  a  true  "born 
New  Yorker,"  and  it  is  rare  to  number  many  among  one's  friends. 


CHAPTER    TWENTY-FOUR 

THE  SOCIAL  PLEASANTRIES 

A   GUIDE    TO    TACTFUL    CONVERSATION 

In  greeting  people  we  say,  "How  do  you  do?"  We  do  not  really  expect  an 
answer,  but  it  is  proper  to  reply,  "Very  well,  thank  you,"  even  if  it  is  a 
blue  Monday  and  you  feel  far  from  well.  No  one  wants  a  clinical  discussion 
in  response  to  this  purely  rhetorical  question.  In  fact,  you  may  answer 
Socratically  with  "How  do  you  do?"— expecting,  and  getting,  no  answer.  In 
farewell,  say  simply,  "Good-by,"  or  something  you  really  feel,  such  as,  "Let's 
meet  soon  again"  or  "It  was  so  nice  running  into  you."  Don't  use  some  current 
banality  such  as  "Good-by  now."  It  is  obvious  it  is  now  you  are  saying 
"Good-by"— not  an  hour  previously  nor  an  hour  hence.  Watch  these  cliches. 
Up  to  a  point  they  can  lend  a  little  color  to  your  conversation,  but  they  can 

212 


PART   TWO      DRESS  AND   MANNERS 


easily  become  second  nature,  so  that  you  seem  to  be  a  person  of  little 
imagination,  one  suffering  from  a  sad  poverty  of  language.  These  innocuous 
slang  expressions  sound  partciularly  inept  from  a  grown  man  or  woman, 
unless  one  is  using  them  quite  consciously  and  in  fun. 


WHEN    TO    USE    A    FIRST    NAME 

Be  slow  to  use  people's  first  names  and  try  to  let  the  other  person  take  the 
initiative.  A  man  must  never  call  a  woman  of  his  own  circle  by  her  first 
name  unless  he  is  asked  to  do  so.  Usually  she  indicates  her  willingness  to  be 
on  a  more  familiar  footing  simply  by  calling  him  by  his  first  name  without 
any  explanatory  preliminaries  but  she  may  say,  "Do  call  me  Joan." 

If  a  much  older  man  or  woman  calls  a  much  younger  man  or  woman  by  his 
or  her  first  name,  that  does  not,  of  course,  indicate  that  the  junior  should 
return  the  familiarity,  although  if  the  relationship  continues  over  many 
years  it  is  possible  that  in  time  it  will  be  appropriate  for  the  younger  person 
to  call  the  older  one  by  his  or  her  Christian  name,  but  even  then  it  is  best  to 
be  asked  to  do  so. 


IF    YOU    CANNOT    REMEMBER    NAMES 

No  one  is  ever  pleased  if  you  say,  "I  know  your  face— but  I  just  can't  recall 
your  name."  Tactful  people  who  aren't  infallible  about  names  work  out  a 
technique  for  coping  with  these  bad  moments.  If  you  are  warmly  greeted 
by  someone  whose  name— or  maybe  whose  face,  too— you  can't  recall,  say 
something  harmless  such  as,  "Nice  to  see  you"  or  "You're  looking  well." 
Then  while  looking  quite  attentive,  let  the  other  person  do  the  talking  until 
he  or  she  gives  a  clue  as  to  identity.  Let  us  hope  he  doesn't  ever  say,  "You 
don't  remember  me,  do  you?"  for  your  own  expression  should  always  indi- 
cate you  remember  him  well  and  favorably. 

If  you  have  trouble  remembering  the  names  that  match  the  faces,  always 
help  out  the  other  person  who  is  probably  suffering  from  the  same  thing. 
Never  say,  "Do  you  remember  me?"  or  "You  don't  know  who  I  am,  do  you?" 
Instead,  in  greeting  people  you  haven't  seen  for  some  time  or  whom  you 
are  meeting  outside  of  your  usual  place  of  encounter,  identify  yourself 
quickly  and  gracefully,  "How  do  you  do,  Mr.  Burton.  I'm  Joseph  Bye  of 
Arbor  Mills.  We  did  a  little  business  together  last  fall."  Or,  when  a  woman 
has  stopped  and  is  obviously  confused  as  to  who  you  are,  "I'm  Joseph  Bye, 
Miss  Fox.  We  see  each  other  at  the  Advertising  Club."  It  is  certainly  more 
modest  and  tactful  to  assume  that  you  aren't  remembered  than  to  presume 
that  you  are.  I  well  remember  the  effect  on  me  when  my  partner  at  a  public 
dinner  sat  down,  turned  to  me,  and  said,  simply,  "My  name  is  Hoover." 
It  was  Herbert. 


213 


PERSONAL   QUESTIONS WHAT   ARE    THEY? 

Sometimes  I  feel  that  understanding  of  what  constitutes  a  personal  question 
is  innate  rather  than  acquired.  There  are  people  who  seem  to  have  been 
born  tactful  and  others  who,  no  matter  what  they  are  told  or  how  often  they 
offend  consciously  or  unconsciously,  continue  their  stream  of  personal  ques- 
tions to  the  discomfort  of  all  those  with  whom  they  come  in  contact. 

We  should  not,  for  example,  ask  the  cost  of  everything.  If  your  neighbor 
wishes  to  volunteer  certain  information  in  the  course  of  conversation— the 
amount  he  paid  for  his  house,  the  cost  of  his  son's  school  tuition,  how  much 
he  paid  for  his  new  lawn  mower,  that  is  his  privilege,  but  we  should  not  ask 
these  intimate  questions  unless  there  is  some  very  valid  reason  for  doing  so. 
If  you  plan  to  send  your  child  to  the  same  school,  you  might  ask  the  tuition 
your  neighbor  pays,  but  even  then  you  might  embarrass  him,  as  some  private 
schools  have  a  sliding  scale  based  on  the  parent's  ability  to  pay,  the  desira- 
bility of  the  child  from  a  scholastic  or  social  standpoint,  etc.,  and  if  he  pays 
less  than  the  regular  tuition  he  may  well  be  annoyed  at  the  question. 

Unless  you  have  some  business  reason  to  do  so,  you  shouldn't  ask  a  man 
or  woman  the  amount  of  insurance  he  or  she  carries,  the  amount  of  their 
mortgage  or  rent,  the  salaries  of  their  servants.  You  might  ask  a  man's  age- 
though  many  men  are  less  than  anxious  to  divulge  that  information  as  they 
pass  forty— but  you  never  ask  that  of  a  woman  over  twenty-one,  except  for 
official  reasons.  Even  then,  the  courtesy  of  letting  her  say  "over  twenty-one" 
usually  is  accorded  a  woman— except  by  the  U.  S.  State  Department,  the 
various  Motor  Vehicles  offices,  and  other  sternly  realistic  representatives  that 
must  know  all.  So  even  though  many  women  are  frank  about  their  ages— 
sometimes  aggressively  so— it  really  is  no  one's  business,  and  it  is,  I  think,  a 
permissible  conceit  for  anyone  to  shave  off  a  few  years  if  her  face  doesn't 
belie  the  amputation.  But  in  her  very  late  years  a  woman  usually  takes 
a  belated  pride  in  her  longevity  and  brags  that  she  is  eighty-one  or  ninety— 
except  a  great  aunt  of  mine  who  at  ninety-six  refused  to  admit  it  and 
blithely  said,  when  queried  about  her  great  age  by  a  caller  on  her  birthday, 
"Oh,  I  guess  I'm  about  ninety."  ( She  lived  to  just  three  months  short  of  one 
hundred. ) 

Most  women  are  equally  sensitive  about  their  weight  and  dislike  being 
asked  to  name  the  figure,  with  which  they  are  doubtless  displeased. 

Men  and  women  of  less  than  average  height  are  often  diffident  about 
references  to  the  fact.  Surprisingly  enough,  it  seems  to  me,  very  tall  men 
usually  are  far  from  flattered  at  references  to  their  height,  and,  of  course, 
no  very  thin  or  fat  man  likes  to  have  his  deviation  from  the  norm  commented 
upon  in  public,  no  matter  how  much  inured  he  seems  to  friendly  raillery. 
The  very  fat  and  the  very  thin  are  sensitive  people,  easily  hurt. 

Many  of  our  ways  of  thinking  are  changing,  so  that  a  six-foot  girl  today 
might  not  bat  an  eyelash  if  you  asked  her  how  tall  she  was.  If  she  carries 
herself  straight  and  tall,  is  not  afraid  of  high  heels  and  dramatic  hats,  you 
can  be  sure  she  has  no  complex  about  her  height.  If  she  goes  around  in 
flat  heels,  walks  stoop-shouldered,  and  wears  itsy-bitsy  accessories,  you  can 

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PART  TWO     DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

be  equally  certain  she'd  hate  to  be  asked  her  measurements  and  that  to  her 
such  a  question  would  be  highly  "personal." 

And  while  practically  all  American  girls— and  men,  too— have  big  feet  these 
days,  many  like  to  pretend  their  feet  are  smaller  than  they  actually  are,  in 
deference,  perhaps,  to  the  Victorian  idea  that  small  hands  and  feet  denoted 
gentility.  A  woman  who  wears  an  8J2  D  might  get  on  the  defensive  if  you 
asked  her  shoe  size. 

I'd  never  ask  my  best  friend  whether  he  or  she  had  dyed  hair,  false  teeth, 
a  wooden  leg,  or  a  glass  eye.  I  wouldn't  ask  anyone  who  his  legatees  wouid 
be  or  how  he  had  made  out  his  insurance,  how  much  money  he  had  in  the 
bank  or  how  his  marriage  was  going. 

DANGEROUS    TOPICS    OF    CONVERSATION 

You  may  be  Helen  Burke's  most  intimate  friend,  and  she  may  have  half- 
confided  in  you  many  times  that  she  and  Herbert  are  not  getting  along  any 
too  well.  But  for  you  to  ask  her  a  direct  question  as  to  the  status  of  her 
relations  with  her  husband  is  dangerous  business.  If  you  are  cast  in  the  role 
of  confidante,  willingly  or  unwillingly,  avoid  asking  direct  questions  or  refer- 
ring to  a  former  confidence  when  perhaps  the  crisis  that  precipitated  it  may 
have  passed.  All  married  people  have  their  moments  of  incompatibility. 
Never  take  them  seriously  until  and  unless  you  see  separate  residences 
established.  And  mentioning  any  such  acrimonious  scenes  to  which  you 
may  have  been  witness  is  a  good  way  to  close  the  doors  to  reconciliation 
between  the  couple.  Somehow  if  all  her  best  friends  keep  reminding  Helen 
that  Herbert's  behavior  has  been  unforgivable  she  will  find  it  harder  to 
forgive  than  if  no  one  but  the  most  discreet  among  her  friends  is  mutely 
conscious  that  there  has  been  a  little  fuss. 

When  people  are  angry  and  abusive  toward  some  friend,  associate,  or 
member  of  their  family,  don't  take  sides.  Listen,  refrain  from  expressing  an 
opinion,  and  stay  objective,  though  vaguely  sympathetic.  If  angry  friends 
ask  for,  get,  and  take  your  advice  they  will  not  like  you  better.  On  the 
contrary,  they  may  resent  your  interference,  well-meaning  though  you 
may  have  meant  it  to  be.  The  role  of  mediator  is  hard  and  thankless,  and 
most  of  us  are  not  really  equipped  for  the  task. 

HOW    TO    PARRY    DIRECT    QUESTIONS 

Personal  questions  can  be  unsettling  unless  you  develop  enough  sophistica- 
tion to  cope  with  them  gracefully.  Sometimes  they  are  brutally  asked  with 
intent  to  wound.  A  naturally  witty  person  knows  well  enough  how  to  reply. 
An  author  who  was  asked  by  a  jealous  contemporary,  "Who  wrote  your 
book  for  you?"  replied,  "Who  read  it  to  you?"  This  is  the  Socratic  question- 
for-question  defense  which  had  best  be  left  to  professionals. 

The  safer  way  is  to  pretend  that  no  offense  was  meant— and  often  the 
poser  of  personal  questions  is  just  a  blunderer  and  doesn't  really  mean  to 
be  malicious.  If  you  are  a  woman  who  does  not  care  to  advertise  her  age, 

315 


whether  it  be  twenty-five  or  forty-seven,  you  might  reply  to  someone  who 
asks  how  old  you  are  (when  it's  none  of  his  business),  "You  know,  the 
women  in  my  family  have  always  been  ageless  and  I  like  to  keep  it  that 
way."  Women  are  expected  to  lie  about  their  age,  anyhow,  so  even  if  you 
bared  your  sensibilities  and  told  the  truth  the  chances  are  your  interrogator 
would,  mentally,  add  another  five  or  ten  years. 

When  no  tactful  answer  seems  to  suffice  and  the  personal  probing  goes  on, 
the  only  solution  is  to  be  quite  frank.  Say,  without  getting  angry,  "I  know 
you  don't  realize  it,  but  that  is  a  personal  question  I  don't  feel  willing  to 
answer."  If  he  then  takes  offense,  he  deserves  to. 

THAT   WORD    "LADY" 

The  word  "lady"  is  suitable  in  the  discussion  of  etiquette— "A  gentleman 
stands  behind  a  lady's  chair  until  she  is  seated,"  but  the  use  of  it  in  conversa- 
tion is  very  limited,  unless  we  wish  to  imply  our  own  humbler  position. 

A  woman  caller  being  announced  in  an  office  or  in  your  home  by  an 
employee— or  at  home  by  a  child— is  a  "lady,"  not  a  woman.  A  secretary 
will  announce,  "There  is  a  lady  to  see  you,  Mr.  Zachary.  Here  is  her  card/' 
Or,  "There  is  a  Miss  Long  to  see  you.  She's  from  the  Grolier  Society"  (if 
she's  presented  no  card).  A  child  at  home  would  say,  "There's  a  lady  to  see 
you,  Mommy." 

A  secretary  or  other  white-collar  employee  never  says— at  least  not  in  the 
hearing  of  the  caller— "There's  a  woman  here."  Neither,  ushering  in  the 
caller,  does  she  say,  "You  may  come  in,  lady."  Instead,  she  says,  "Please 
come  in,"  adding  the  visitor's  name,  if  known. 

In  a  shop  no  one  should  ever  use  the  word  "lady"  to  a  customer  to  get 
her  attention,  although  in  referring  to  the  customer  in  speaking  to  someone 
else  it  is  proper  to  say,  "This  lady  would  like  to  know  if  we  carry — "  In 
cases  where  a  man  or  woman,  no  matter  what  his  or  her  station  in  life,  does 
not  know  the  name,  or  doesn't  wish  to  use  the  name  of  a  woman  to  whom  it 
is  necessary  to  direct  a  remark,  it  is  proper  to  say  "Madam,"  never  "Miss," 
unless  the  title  is  followed  by  her  last  name. 

I  have  heard  men  in  high  business  positions  say,  as  a  domestic  properly 
does,  "Please  come  in,  Miss  (to  an  obvious  'Miss')."  Even  with  office  per- 
sonnel whose  names  they  don't  know,  they  should  not  use  this  form  of 
address.  A  pleasant  "Come  in"  is  all  that  is  necessary. 

Remember,  the  King  of  England  in  his  abdication  speech  referred  to 
Wallis  Simpson  as  "the  woman  I  love."  The  word  used  properly  has  great 
dignity  and  meaning.  A  man,  speaking  of  his  wife,  should  refer  to  her  as  a 
"woman"  to  his  friends,  as  a  "lady"  only  to  tradespeople  and  various  others 
in  service  capacities.  He  may  say  to  his  new  client,  "I'd  like  you  to  meet  my 
wife  sometime— a  charming  woman."  To  the  station  porter  he  should  say, 
"Will  you  help  the  lady  over  there  with  the  bags  while  I  buy  the  tickets?" 

A  woman  does  not  refer  to  herself  as  a  "lady"  to  her  social  equals.  She 
does  not  call  on  the  new  neighbor  explaining  she  is  the  "lady"  next  door. 

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PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

Instead,  she  says,  "I  am  Mrs.  Birch,  your  next  door  neighbor."  To  the  butcher 
in  the  chain  store  she  might  say,  "I  am  the  lady  who  ordered  the  turkey  last 
week,"  but  I  like  better  the  more  democratic,  "I  ordered  the  turkey  last 
week."  From  your  way  of  addressing  him,  the  tradesman  can  see  for 
himself  how  you  should  be  catalogued. 

HOW    ABOUT    "MISS!"? 

Whenever  possible  the  word  "Miss"  as  a  summons  to  someone  whose  name 
you  don't  know  should  be  avoided.  If  you  are  being  served  by  a  waitress 
and  fail  to  catch  her  eye,  "Waitress!"  is  better  than  "Miss!"  If  you  are  trying 
to  catch  up  with  a  woman  friend  in  the  street,  never  call  out  her  name— 
which  might  embarrass  her.  Certainly  you  can't  call  "Miss!"  after  her, 
although  if  you  are  near  enough  and  are  on  a  first-name  basis,  you  might 
call  her  first  name  softly  in  a  crowd,  if  you  fail  to  catch  her  attention  any 
other  way. 

Salespeople  nowadays  avoid  "Miss"  in  speaking  to  customers,  although 
many  well-trained  ones  say  "Madam,"  if  necessary,  except  to  a  very  young 
girl.  It  is  undignified  for  a  matron,  however  young,  to  be  spoken  to  as 
"Miss"  by  someone  waiting  on  her— "Will  you  try  these  for  size,  Miss?"  The 
"Miss"  should  be  omitted  and  if  any  title  is  used,  it  should  be  "Madam." 
A  customer,  failing  to  catch  a  salesperson's  eye,  may  call  out  "Miss,"  however. 

INTRODUCTIONS 

In  America  when  men  are  introduced  to  each  other  they  shake  hands  stand- 
ing, without,  if  possible,  reaching  in  front  of  another  person.  They  may 
smile  or  at  least  look  pleasant  and  say  nothing  as  they  shake  hands,  or  one 
may  murmur  some  such  usual,  courteous  phrase  as  "It  is  nice  to  meet  (or 
know)  you."  To  which  the  other  may  reply,  "Nice  to  meet  you"  or  merely 
Thank  you." 

In  shaking  hands,  men  remove  the  right  glove  if  the  action  isn't  too 
awkward  because  of  the  suddenness  of  the  encounter.  If  they  shake  hands 
with  the  glove  on  they  say,  "Please  excuse  (or  forgive)  my  glove."  If  the 
introduction  takes  place  on  a  ballroom  floor  and  the  men  are  wearing  white 
kid  gloves,  the  right  glove  is  not  removed,  even  for  an  introduction  to  a 
lady,  and  no  apology  is  made.  The  purpose  of  the  glove,  in  this  case,  is  to 
prevent  damaging  the  ladies'  gowns  with  a    (possibly)    perspiring  palm. 

Men  who  meet  or  are  introduced  to  each  other  outdoors  do  not  remove 
their  hats  unless  a  lady  is  present.  Nor  do  men  who  know  each  other  raise 
their  hats  when  they  pass  on  the  street  unless  they  are  escorting  ladies. 
When  a  man  is  introduced  to  a  lady  he  does  not  offer  his  hand  unless  she 
makes  the  move  first,  as  it  is  quite  correct  for  a  la^dy  merely  to  bow  in 
acknowledgement  of  an  introduction— in  fact  the  usual  thing.  But  of  course 
no  lady  ever  refuses  a  proffered  hand  and  we  should  know  that  European 
men  are  taught  to  take  the  initiative  in  handshaking.  The  words  of  the  in- 
troduction between  a  man  and  woman  go  this  way:  "Mrs.  Gardiner,  Mr. 

217 


Longstreth."  Or,  "Mr.  Longstreth,  I  would  like  you  to  meet  Mrs.  Gardiner.*' 
Or,  again,  and  more  formally,  "Mrs.  Gardiner,  may  I  present  Mr.  Long- 
streth." Never  introduce  the  woman  to  the  man  unless  he  is  a  clergyman, 
the  President,  a  governor,  a  mayor,  or  a  foreign  head  of  state.  Foreign  am- 
bassadors are  introduced  to  ladies.  There  is  much  less  handshaking  in  this 
country,  less  between  women,  and  women  and  men,  than  between  men. 
A  hostess,  however,  greets  all  her  guests  by  shaking  hands,  and  all  guests 
should  seek  to  shake  the  hand  of  the  host. 

When  women  are  introduced  to  each  other  and  one  is  sitting,  the  other 
standing,  the  one  who  is  seated  does  not  rise  unless  the  standee  is  her 
hostess  or  a  much  older  or  very  distinguished  woman.  The  rising  of  one 
woman  for  another  in  this  country  indicates  great  deference.  It  is  often  a 
delicate  matter  to  decide  whether  or  not  a  woman  is  sufficiently  older  than 
oneself  to  be  worthy  of  the  gesture.  If  not,  she  may  be  offended  rather  than 
honored.  Any  young  girl  in  her  early  teens,  however,  should  rise  when 
introduced  to  any  matron  and  to  any  older  man  of  her  parents'  circle,  but  she 
shakes  hands  only  if  the  older  person  so  indicates.  Of  course,  any  woman 
seeking  employment  rises  when  presented  to  her  prospective  employer,  male 
or  female,  and  permits  the  interviewer  to  make  the  move  to  shake  hands, 
or  not,  as  he  chooses. 

A  woman  or  man  introducing  husband  or  wife  to  another  person  says, 
"This  is  my  husband"  or  "May  I  introduce  you  to  my  wife?"  A  man's  wife 
would,  however,  be  introduced  to  a  much  older  woman,  to  a  woman  of  great 
distinction,  or  to  an  elderly  and  distinguished  man. 

Neither  spouse  refers  to  the  other  socially  as  "Mr.  Brown"  or  "Mrs. 
Brown."  Nor  does  a  man  say  "the  wife"  or  "the  missus." 

No  one  properly  says  "Charmed,"  "Delighted,"  or  "Pleased  to  meet  you" 
when  presented  to  anyone.  In  fact,  under  ordinary  circumstances  a  casual 
"Hello,"  or  "How  do  you  do?"  (to  which  no  answer  but  a  repeated  "How 
do  you  do?"  or  a  smile  is  expected)  is  sufficient.  A  spontaneous  "It's  so  nice 
to  meet  you"  or  "I  am  so  glad  you  came"  or  even  "I  have  heard  so  much 
about  you"  is  fine  when  it  is  really  meant— but  it  is  never  obligatory.  All 
introductions  may  be  acknowledged  with  no  more  than  a  pleasant  glance 
and  a  slight  bow  except  those  between  men,  where  a  handshake  is  usually 
expected. 

DUTY    DANCES 

At  any  dance,  each  man  guest  asks  the  hostess  to  dance  at  least  once  and  also 
asks  her  daughters,  if  she  has  any,  or  her  women  house  guests.  A  well- 
brought-up  young  man  seeks  out  each  lady  of  the  household,  including 
house  guests,  at  a  private  dance,  even  grandmother,  if  she  is  present,  and 
courteously  asks  for  a  dance.  The  phrase  he  uses  is,  "May  I  have  this 
dance?"  or  "May  I  have  the  pleasure  of  this  dance?"  Between  very  young 
people  this  is  often  abbreviated  to  "Dance?" 

At  a  supper  dance  those  who  have  come  together  sup  together.  It  is  the 

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PART  TWO      DRESS  AND   MANNERS 


expected  thing.  As  suppertime  approaches  a  girl's  escort  seeks  her  out  if  she 
is  dancing  with  someone  else  and  at  the  appropriate  moment  says,  "Shall  vro 
have  supper?" 


REFUSING    A    DANCE 

No  lady  need  dance  with  anyone  if  for  some  reason  she  doesn't  care  to.  But 
she  must  always  be  polite  in  her  refusal.  If  she  is  hoping  for  another  partner 
she  may  say,  "Thank  you,  but  I  don't  believe  I'm  free  right  now."  Or  if 
she  is  tired  she  should  say  so,  "Thank  you,  but  I'd  like  to  rest  a  little.  Won't 
you  join  me?"  (if  she  really  wants  him  to.)  At  a  large  dance  where  there 
is  a  floor  committee  or  stag  line  a  man  can  always  signal  adroitly  when  he 
thinks  he  has  danced  enough  of  a  duty  dance  or  if  he  is  stuck  with  a  wall- 
flower. 

Girls,  of  course,  get  stuck  too  during  interminable  dances  when  no  one 
asks  to  cut  in.  If  no  relief  seems  in  sight  either  partner  can  suggest  leaving 
the  floor,  usually  under  the  pretext  that  there  are  too  many  couples  danc- 
ing, that  a  drink,  or  a  talk,  or  a  walk  in  the  air  might  be  more  fun.  If  either 
partner  feels  inept  at  a  particular  dance  and  the  music  strikes  up  in  that 
tempo  that  is  another  quite  acceptable  excuse  for  sitting  out  a  dance.  But  a 
man  never  escorts  a  girl  from  the  floor  and  leaves  her  unaccompanied,  though 
she  may  always  give  him  some  polite  excuse  for  leaving  him  once  they  are 
off  the  floor. 


CHAPTER    TWENTY-FIVE 

THE  SMOKING  PROBLEM 

CIGAR    SMOKING 

There  are  men  who  will  agree  with  me— and  most  women  will,  too— that 
cigar  smoking  has  certain  definite  perils,  esthetically.  To  me  a  large  fat 
cigar  in  the  mouth  of  a  young  man  has  about  the  same  effect  on  his 
appearance  as  would  a  pince-nez.  The  smaller,  slim,  mild  cigars  seem 
preferable.  At  least  it  seems  to  discourage  the  unattractive  habit  of  a  man's 
leaving  a  half-smoked  cigar  around  for  later  relighting.  And  a  small  cigar 
is  usually  treated  like  a  cigarette  and  not  allowed  to  stay  overlong  in  the 
mouth.  A  chewed  cigar  end,  only  too  apparent  when  the  cigar  is  removed 
during  the  course  of  conversation,  is  enough  to  repel  all  but  the  most  hardy 
females.  If  you  do  smoke  cigars,  treat  them  as  if  they  were  cigarettes. 
Don't  exhale  vast  and,  perhaps,  offensive  clouds  of  smoke.  Remove  the 

219 


cigar  when  you  talk,  take  brief  puffs  to  keep  the  cigar  dry  and  relatively 
sightly.  Be  sure  a  large  enough  ash  tray  is  at  hand  before  you  start,  so  that 
you  won't  get  cigar  ashes  all  over  the  floor,  furniture,  and  yourself.  Never 
even  ask  to  smoke  a  cigar  during  a  meal  (I  suppose  some  men  might).  At 
table  bring  out  cigars  only  at  coffee  time  and  even  then,  when  the  cigarettes 
are  passed,  be  sure  to  ask  if  your  stronger-odored  cigar  is  permissible.  Ask 
for  a  larger  ash  tray  if  the  cigar  you  are  to  smoke  is  a  large  one. 

If  you  are  smoking  your  cigar  in  the  living  room,  you  will  be  considered 
very  thoughtful  if  you  don't  leave  the  butt  in  an  ash  tray.  If  you  know  your 
way  around  the  house,  put  the  dreary  remains  in  the  garbage  can.  Or,  first 
running  it  under  water,  wrap  it  in  paper  and  drop  it  in  a  waste  basket.  Of 
course,  if  servants  are  on  hand  to  empty  ash  trays  the  minute  they  get  over- 
crowded, one  cigar  butt  more  or  less  will  make  no  difference.  But  it  will 
make  a  terrific  difference  in  a  party-crowded  room  where  all  the  ash  trays 
fill  rapidly  and  are  not  being  emptied  as  soon  as  desirable. 

We  might  as  well  face  it:  the  man  who  is  a  constant  smoker  of  heavy  ci- 
gars stains  his  teeth,  lips,  and  fingers  to  a  degree  seldom  encountered  in 
cigarette  smokers.  But  any  heavy  smoker— whether  of  pipes,  cigars,  or  ciga- 
rettes—should at  least  be  conscious  of  the  fact  that  his  over-all  powerful  odor 
of  often  stale  tobacco  can  be  very  offensive,  especially  to  women. 

Heavy  smokers— men  or  women— should  be  sure  their  clothes  and  they 
themselves  are  frequently  aired.  They  need  at  least  one  thorough  shampoo  a 
week  and  regular  trips  to  the  dental  hygienist  to  remove  stains  from  the 
teeth.  Finger  stains  can  be  taken  care  of  at  home  with  a  few  drops  of  perox- 
ide on  the  nail  brush  or  a  rubbing  over  with  pumice  stone.  But  yellow-stained 
fingernails  just  have  to  grow  out,  I  gather. 

It  is  well  known  that  every  animal— including  us,  has  his  own  special 
natural  odor.  Ours  should  be  an  attractive  one,  but  it  is  easily  distorted  into 
something  less  than  attractive  by  oversmoking,  overdrinking,  or  too  great 
consumption  of  certain  foods— fatty  ones,  for  example.  Delicate  colognes  and 
perfumes  should  enhance  our  natural  odors,  not  overshadow  them.  Scrupu- 
lous physical  cleanliness  and  a  cultivated  fastidiousness  about  our  habits, 
such  as  smoking  and  drinking,  will  make  us  more  attractive. 

It  is  well  known  scientifically  that  humans,  as  well  as  animals,  are  at- 
tracted or  repelled  by  the  odor  of  another  person  even  when  they  are  not 
actually  conscious  such  odors  exist.  Perhaps  we  have  more  in  common  with 
the  hound  than  we  imagine. 


THE   PIPE    SMOKER 

Pipes  are  generally  becoming  to  most  men  of  any  age— with  the  possible 
exception  of  well-colored  meerschaums,  which  to  me  at  least  seem  a  little 
elderly. 

But  the  pipe  smoker  must  watch  his  manners,  too.  Pipe  cleaning  is  a 
messy  operation  even  in  the  hands  of  an  expert  and  should  be  done  in  rela- 

220 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

tive  privacy.  The  discarded  contents  of  the  bowl  and  the  used  pipe  cleaner 
should  be  quickly  disposed  of,  not  left  in  the  ash  tray  to  befoul  the  atmos- 
phere. And  if  the  smoker  feels  the  necessity  to  improve  the  pipe's  draw 
through  loud  sucking  or  blowing,  or  whatever  it  is  that's  so  noisy,  let  him 
step  outside  the  door,  unless  he  is  quite  alone  at  his  task. 

There  is  pipe  tobacco  and  pipe  tobacco.  It's  safer  perhaps  to  go  by  the 
judgment  of  friends  in  the  matter  of  which  blend  to  choose  than  to  pick  one 
by  taste  alone.  It  is  not  possible  that  tobacco  that  smells  so  bad  can  taste 
that  way,  too.  Let  your  friends'  pleased  or  pained  expressions  when  you  light 
up  be  your  guide. 


WHEN    NOT    TO    SMOKE 

With  smoking  so  common,  we  sometimes  forget  there  are  times  and  places 
where  one  never  smokes,  even  though  not  so  reminded  by  a  "No  Smoking" 
sign.  Members  of  the  assemblage  in  any  religious  ceremony  taking  place  at 
home,  a  wedding,  a  christening  or  a  funeral,  do  not  smoke— just  as  one 
doesn't  smoke  in  church  or,  if  he  has  any  consideration,  in  elevators.  Getting 
into  an  elevator  "palming"  a  lighted  cigar  or  cigarette  is  threatening  yourself 
or  fellow  passengers  with  possible  burns  if  the  elevator  becomes  crowded 
or  there  is  an  accident. 

You  may  not  smoke  in  an  airplane  while  the  "No  Smoking"  sign  is  lighted, 
although  you  may  when  the  plane  has  reached  a  certain  altitude  and  the 
sign  goes  off. 

Smoking  is  not  allowed  in  court  or  in  most  public  meeting  places  such  as 
concert  halls,  movies,  and  theaters  except  in  sections  set  aside  for  smokers. 
Many  of  the  better  restaurants  prohibit  smoking  or  restrict  it. 

You  do  not  smoke  on  busses,  street  cars,  or  trains  unless  you  are  seated  in 
a  smoking  section,  so  labeled.  Do  not  even  pass  through  non-smoking  areas 
carrying  lighted  pipes,  cigars,  or  cigarettes. 

You  never  walk,  smoking,  into  a  sickroom  or  into  a  nursery.  In  a  sick 
room,  if  the  patient  is  smoking,  you  may  smoke  if  invited  to  do  so  and  are 
careful  not  to  leave  ashes  and  butts  behind  you  to  make  the  atmosphere  un- 
pleasant. It  is  incredible  how  many  people  not  only  smoke  while  visiting  a 
young  baby  in  his  nursery  but  also  use  any  available  receptacle  for  the 
ends  of  cigars  and  cigarettes— from  silver  porringers  to  diaper  pails— with  no 
thought  at  all  for  the  baby's  possible  reaction  to  the  ensuing  fumes. 

Business  firms  have  varying  rules  concerning  smoking,  but,  even  when 
employers  don't  consider  the  matter  important,  employees  seated  where  they 
receive  visitors  to  the  office  should  not  smoke  on  the  job.  Where  office  em- 
ployees are  permitted  to  smoke  at  their  desks,  they  should  not  allow  ashes 
and  butts  to  pile  up  in  receptacles  but  should  dispose  of  them  from  time  to 
time— and  not  by  dumping  them  loose  into  the  waste  basket.  Some  employ- 
ers, in  desperation  at  the  amount  of  time  lost  if  employees  are  allowed  to 
smoke  in  rest  rooms  only,  permit  smoking  on  ihe  job.  But  a  cigarette  or  ci- 

«21 


gar  resting  on  the  edge  of  a  desk  can  ruin  the  finish.  Close  work  interrupted 
by  drags  on  a  cigar,  pipe,  or  cigarette  can  suffer  badly,  and  production  can 
be  slowed  down  to  the  point  of  serious  inefficiency  if  the  worker  is  a  constant 
smoker. 

Women  should  not  smoke  while  walking  on  city  or  town  streets,  although 
on  open  country  roads  they  may  if  they  wish  (being  careful  to  put  out 
matches  and  smokes  carefully  before  discarding  them,  to  prevent  fires). 

No  one  riding  with  others  in  a  taxi  or  automobile  should  smoke  without 
permission  of  the  others.  And  used  matches  and  butts  should  not  be  ground 
out  on  the  floor.  If  no  receptacle  is  provided,  snub  out  the  light  against  the 
sole  of  your  shoe  and  discard  the  butt  out  the  window.  Do  not  throw  lighted 
cigarettes  or  cigars  out  of  the  window,  not  only  because  they  may  start  a 
fire  or  burn  a  passer-by,  but  because  the  wind  may  blow  sparks  or  the  smoke 
itself  back  into  the  car  and  cause  damage. 

If  you  smoke  on  a  sailboat,  flip  your  ashes  or  discard  your  cigarette  on  the 
side  the  sail  is  on  so  the  wind  won't  blow  sparks  or  ashes  or  butts  back  into 
the  boat. 


CHAPTER    TWENTY-SIX 

CLUBS 

men's  clubs 

A  good  club  is  not  a  social  necessity,  but  it  is  a  social  convenience.  It  is, 
usually,  a  place  where  one  meets  men  of  similar  interests  and  background, 
a  comfortable  pied-a-terre  in  town  where  a  man  can  stay  overnight,  put  up 
another  man  guest,  receive  messages  and  entertain  in  private,  if  he  wishes, 
as  if  he  were  in  his  own  home. 

Any  man  with  enough  money  to  pay  the  dues  can  list  a  long  string  of 
clubs  after  his  name,  even  a  long  list  of  the  best  ones  if  he  stands  muster 
with  the  membership  committees.  But  the  man  of  substance  prefers  to  be 
associated  with  usually  not  more  than  two  main  clubs,  one  in  the  country 
and  one  in  town,  depending  on  his  interests.  He  avoids  taking  membership 
merely  for  the  prestige  in  a  number  of  clubs  in  whose  affairs  he  can  take 
little  or  no  part. 

Actual,  active  identification  with  his  club  is  to  a  man's  benefit,  because  it 
permits  him  a  say  in  the  running  of  it.  Absentee,  inactive  membership, 
widely  practiced,  means  that  a  club  is  taken  over  by  a  small  clique  that 
runs  it  for  its  own  benefit  and  often  against  the  interests  of  the  member- 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

ship  as  a  whole.  Furthermore,  if  he  really  understands  what  his  club  repre- 
sents, what  the  thinking  is  as  reflected  in  the  by-laws,  a  man  can  protect 
himself  against  being  classified  as  something  he  really  is  not,  by  fighting 
what  he  doesn't  like  or  getting  out. 

joining  a  club  It  is  part  of  our  snobbism  that  we  don't  want  to  join  a  club 
everyone  can  join.  For  that  reason,  a  man  never  openly  asks  that  he  be  put 
up  for  membership  in  any  of  the  exclusive  clubs,  although  he  may  tactfully 
indicate  his  interest  to  members  among  his  friends.  Then,  if  he  seems  eligible, 
they  may  propose  him,  first  making  sure  that  he  understands  what  member- 
ship entails  as  to  initiation  fee,  dues,  rules,  and  regulations.  It  is,  of  course, 
highly  embarrassing  to  the  sponsor  or  sponsors  if  the  proposed  new  member 
is  rejected  for  any  reason.  Their  explanation  to  him  of  such  a  rejection  must 
be  accepted  gracefully  and  without  probing.  It  is  often  possible  for  him  to 
qualify  for  the  same  club  later,  especially  if  his  reaction  to  the  first  refusal 
has  been  sporting.  It  is  an  axiom  that  it  is  easier  for  a  well-introduced 
stranger  to  get  into  a  good  club  than  a  well-known  man-about-town  who's 
had  ample  opportunity  to  gather  enemies  as  well  as  friends. 


tipping  in  clubs  In  the  major  clubs  the  employees  are  tipped  by  the  members 
at  Christmas,  or  at  the  holiday  time  members  may  contribute  to  a  kitty  for 
the  staff.  In  addition,  most  clubs  now  add  a  service  charge  to  all  bills.  Guests 
of  members  do  not  tip  unless  they  have  been  put  up  at  the  club,  though  the 
service  charge  is  usually  added  to  bills.  Resident  guests  or  members  using 
private  rooms  for  large  parties  may,  if  they  wish,  tip  additionally  the  em- 
ployee with  whom  they  have  had  the  most  contact— on  the  same  scale  one 
would  in  a  first-class  hotel. 


proposing  and  seconding  In  large  clubs  new  members  are  usually  proposed 
by  letter,  although  sometimes  the  proposing  is  done  in  a  brief  interview  with 
the  club  secretary,  who  then  usually  posts  the  name,  with  the  names  of  the 
proposer  and  seconder,  after  the  suggestion  has  cleared  the  membership 
committee.  The  posting  of  the  name  gives  members  who  might  object  to  the 
inclusion  of  the  proposed  member  a  chance  to  protest  to  the  board  of  gov- 
ernors. Such  protest  is  often  verbal  to  one  or  more  governors  or,  preferably, 
by  letter  to  the  board  of  governors,  stating  one's  objections  to  the  proposed 
member.  These  objections  are,  supposedly,  kept  confidential  and  should  be. 
It  is  foolish  not  to  make  them  if  they  are  merited  and  thus  possibly  admit  a 
member  who  will  not  be  agreeable. 

Letters  of  proposal  and  seconding  A  friend  writes  to  the  board  of  gov- 
ernors of  his  club  to  propose  a  new  member  somewhat  in  this  manner,  in- 
cluding relevant  material: 

223 


September  15,  1952 
To  the  Governors  of  the  Town  Club 
Gentlemen: 

It  gives  me  much  pleasure  to  propose  for  membership  my  friend  Dr. 
Norman  Benson,  Jr.,  a  former  college  classmate.  Dr.  Benson  is  a  graduate  of 
Dartmouth  College  and  of  Harvard  University  where  he  received  his  M.D. 
His  late  uncle,  Judge  Timothy  Way,  was  a  long-time  member  of  the  club. 

Dr.  Benson  is  married  (to  the  former  Lola  Ferris)  and  lives  at  800  Park 
Avenue.  He  is  chief  of  research  staff  of  Botts  Pharmaceutical  Company  at 
700  Fifth  Avenue.  He  is  in  his  early  forties,  a  good  squash  player  and  a 
sound  man  in  every  way. 

I  hope  you  will  agree  that  he  would  be  a  most  desirable  member. 

Respectfully, 
Norris  Lanson 
321  Park  Avenue 
New  York,  N.Y. 

The  seconding  letter  merely  states  that  the  writer  is  seconding  the  pro- 
posal and  adds  a  few  words  of  commendation,  general  or  specific.  It  is  always 
wise  for  a  sponsor  to  get  more  than  one  other  member  to  endorse  his  candi- 
date for  admission  to  the  club  if  there  seems  any  possibility  of  refusal.  Often 
outsiders  who  can  vouch  for  the  candidate— his  clergyman,  his  banker,  or 
his  lawyer— write  to  the  board.  Also,  the  sponsor  sees  to  it  that  the  proposed 
man  meets  as  many  of  the  board  of  governors  as  possible  in  brief  calls  upon 
them  at  their  offices.  The  candidate  makes  these  calls  alone,  after  the  spon- 
sor has  made  the  necessary  appointments.  He  meets  usually  four  governors 
in  this  way,  two  of  whom  are  on  the  membership  committee. 

the  letter  of  objection  Voting  on  the  candidate  takes  place  in  committee, 
with  two  blackballs  counting  against  admission  and  no  explanation  required. 
All  objections  have  usually  been  weighed  before  the  election  meeting.  So 
any  letter  to  the  board  is  sent  soon  after  the  posting  of  the  name.  Such  a 
letter  should  be  reserved,  but  explicit  enough  to  permit  the  board  of  gov- 
ernors to  consider  your  objection  properly.  It  might  read: 

January  12,  1952 
To  the  Board  of  Governors  of  the  Town  Club 
Gentlemen: 

It  has  come  to  my  notice  that  Mr. has  been  proposed  for  member- 
ship. In  my  opinion  Mr. indulges  much  too  frequently  and  heavily 

in  alcohol.  I  have  seen  him  garrulous  and  contentious  to  a  degree  that 
would,  I  am  sure,  disturb  our  relatively  conservative  membership. 

Sincerely  yours, 

Signature 
62  Sutton  Place 
New  York,  N.Y. 

224 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

putting  up  a  guest  Most  club  by-laws  have  a  limitation  on  the  number  of 
times  any  guest  may  be  admitted  to  the  club  over  a  certain  period.  They 
also  limit  the  length  of  stay  of  a  house  guest,  in  most  cases  to  two  weeks. 
Only  out-of-town  guests  may  be  put  up  at  a  club,  not  local  residents. 

A  letter  putting  up  a  guest  is  addressed  to  the  club  secretary.  For  example: 

February  6,  1952 
To  the  Secretary  of  the  Town  Club 

I  should  like  to  put  up  my  business  associate  Mr.  Thomas  Putney,  of 
Chicago,  for  the  week  of  March  18th.  Will  you  be  kind  enough  to  send  him 
a  membership  card  at  our  Chicago  office,  whose  address  is  on  this  letter- 
head. 

Sincerely, 

Norris  Lanson 
321  Park  Avenue 
New  York,  N.Y. 

it  is  well  understood  that  a  member  never  asks  to  have  a  guest  put  up 
who  for  some  reason  would  be  quite  ineligible  for  even  non-resident  mem- 
bership in  the  club  should  he  wish  to  join.  A  member  would  not  ask  to  put 
up  a  prominent  Socialist  in  the  Union  League,  for  example. 

resigning  from  a  club  The  loss  of  an  influential  member  from  a  club  is 
usually  regrettable.  If  he  is  resigning  "  in  protest,"  that  is  known  by  his  con- 
duct in  the  club  prior  to  his  resignation.  His  actual  letter  of  resignation  is 
brief  and  merely  for  the  record.  If  he  must  resign  after  bills  for  dues  for  the 
new  year  have  been  received,  he  pays  his  dues  even  if  he  does  not  plan  to 
use  the  club.  A  letter  of  resignation  is  always  formal  and  makes  some  polite 
excuse  for  not  continuing  membership.  For  example: 

June  16,  1952 
To  the  Governors  of  the  Town  Club 
Gentlemen: 

Pressure  of  work  makes  it  most  difficult  for  me  to  take  advantage  of  club 
privileges  at  all  this  year.  I  should  like  to  resign  with  the  thought  that  at 
some  later  date  I  might  be  able  to  continue  the  many  pleasant  activities  and 
friendships  the  club  afforded  me. 

Most  sincerely, 

John  Robert  Barbour 
321  East  76th  Street 
New  York,  N.Y. 

guest  of  A  private  club  A  guest  of  a  member  must  never  "take  over"  a 
club.  He  should  make  himself  agreeably  inconspicuous  and  no  more  criticize 
the  service,  the  furnishings,  or  facilities  of  the  club  than  he  would  criticize 
these  things  in  his  host's  own  home.  As  in  a  private  home,  too,  he  asks  per- 


mission  to  use  the  outside  telephone,  as  he  is  required  to  give  the  member's 
name  to  the  operator  who  is  making  the  call.  If  he  makes  out-of-town  calls 
or  many  local  ones,  he  asks  for  the  charges  and  quietly  reimburses  his  host. 
He  should  not  attempt  to  entertain  his  host  in  the  club  but  should  take  him 
elsewhere,  except  possibly  for  a  drink.  Members,  by  the  way,  do  not  pay  for 
meals  and  drinks  at  time  of  service  but  sign  checks  submitted  and  pay  their 
bills  monthly. 

Men's  clubs  sometimes  have  certain  rooms  or  sections  where  they  may 
entertain  women  guests  or  where  women  friends  or  members  of  their  family 
may  meet  members  or  lunch  or  dine  without  them.  These  facilities  should 
not  be  used  without  the  express  knowledge  of  the  member,  who  then  ar- 
ranges for  the  courtesy.  The  bill  is  signed  by  the  guest,  who  places  beneath 
his  or  her  signature  the  member's  name.  The  bill  may  then  be  settled  later 
with  the  member,  if  that  is  the  understanding.  No  tip  is  left,  as  a  service 
charge  is  included. 

Also,  in  most  men's  clubs,  there  are  rooms  for  members  only.  Guests  are 
expected  to  meet  members  in  the  public  rooms,  only  by  appointment. 


women's  clubs 

Women  have  far  fewer  resident  clubs  than  men  have.  In  formal  clubs  where 
there  are  full  facilities  the  rules  are  much  the  same  as  those  governing  men's 
clubs.  In  such  organizations  as  the  Junior  League,  dedicated  to  social  service, 
there  are  in  addition  certain  work  requirements  before  a  candidate  is  eligible 
for  membership. 

The  Women's  Club  in  communities  throughout  the  country  concerns  itself 
at  least  in  part  with  local  improvement.  It  is  usually  tied  in  with  the  national 
organization,  the  General  Federation  of  Women's  Clubs,  and  open  to  any 
local  resident  who  wishes  to  join.  There  are,  too,  many  special  interest 
clubs,  many  of  them  affiliated  with  such  larger  entities  as  the  Garden  Club 
of  America,  the  League  of  Women  Voters  of  the  U.S.,  and  the  various 
women's  divisions  of  political  and  fraternal  organizations,  all  of  which  are 
of  social  and  civic  importance. 

fiow  to  obtain  membership  In  such  clubs  as  these  it  is  perfectly  proper  for 
an  interested  woman  to  write  the  club  secretary  and  ask  for  a  membership 
blank.  Or  she  may  be  taken  to  the  club  as  a  guest  of  a  member,  who  then 
asks  the  secretary  to  give  her  a  membership  blank.  Dues  are  usually  nominal. 
They  should  be  paid  promptly,  and,  as  in  a  very  formal  men's  club,  one  pays 
her  dues  anyhow  if  the  bill  for  them  has  arrived  before  a  letter  of  resigna- 
tion has  been  received  by  the  club. 

In  all  women's  clubs  that  make  any  pretense  at  formality  the  parliamen- 
tary procedure  is  followed.  Women  members  should  familiarize  themselves 
with  the  rules,  so  that  the  business  affairs  of  their  club  may  be  conducted 
in  a  dignified  and  efficient  manner.  (See  "Simple  Parliamentary  Procedure.") 

226 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

the  elective  clubs  Such  organizations  as  the  Daughters  of  the  American 
Revolution  are  elective  to  the  extent  that  a  candidate's  qualifications  for 
membership  are  rigidly  fixed— in  this  case  certain  ancestral  participation  in 
the  American  Revolution.  Anyone  who  believes  she  qualifies  may  apply  for 
membership,  and  her  application  is  then  passed  upon  after  the  necessary 
historical  checking. 

club  teas  It  is  usual  for  women's  club  meetings  to  be  followed  by  afternoon 
tea,  with  the  tea  presided  over  by  one  or  more  club  officers,  who  thus  serve 
as  hostesses.  The  tea  table,  always  properly  covered  with  a  white  cloth,  is 
set  up  with  a  silver  tea  service  at  one  end,  the  water  kept  boiling  by  a  spirit 
lamp.  Cups  and  saucers  are  arranged  within  reach  of  the  hostess,  each  cup 
on  its  saucer  and  a  teaspoon  to  the  right  of  the  handle.  For  a  limited  number 
of  guests  the  cup  and  saucer  is  stacked  on  a  small  cake  plate  with  a  tea  nap- 
kin (usually  paper)  between  saucer  and  plate.  Generally  only  finger  foods 
are  served,  so  no  fork  or  butter  knife  is  needed.  For  very  large  teas  the  cake 
plates  are  stacked  at  the  other  end  of  the  table  with  napkins  between,  or 
adjacent  to,  them.  Guests  go  for  their  tea  to  the  person  pouring,  telling  her 
whether  they  wish  sugar,  lemon,  or  cream,  then  pick  up  their  plates  and 
serve  themselves  to  little  tea  sandwiches  or  cakes.  Frequently  coffee  is  served 
at  one  end  of  the  table  and  tea  at  the  other,  with  a  hostess  presiding  over 
each  beverage. 

Guests  usually  take  their  tea  standing  and  place  their  empty  cups  and 
plates  on  a  sideboard  or  serving  table  for  removal  by  committee  members 
or  available  waitresses.  As  at  any  reception,  one  speaks  to  anyone  who  hap- 
pens to  be  standing  near,  whether  or  not  one  has  been  introduced. 


COUNTRY  CLURS,  REACH  CLURS,  AND  YACHT  CLURS 

Under  "Men's  Clubs"  and  "Women's  Clubs"  I  have  discussed  the  procedures 
of  becoming  members  and  of  resigning  from  clubs.  The  rules  for  behavior 
in  all  clubs  are  much  the  same,  with  consideration  of  others  of  major  im- 
portance. In  the  section,  "What's  What  in  Various  Sports,"  I  discuss  specific 
rules  in  sailing,  tennis,  swimming,  etc.,  for  spectators  and  participants. 

If  you  move  into  a  community,  it  is  best  to  inquire  tactfully  whether 
or  not  it  is  necessary  to  be  proposed  for  membership  to  any  local  clubs  that 
interest  you.  In  general,  community  clubs  are  fairly  informal,  and  one  may 
apply  to  the  club  secretary  for  membership  without  being  proposed  by  a 
sponsor  and  seconder.  Yacht  and  golf  clubs  maintained  by  the  municipality 
are  open  to  all  able  to  pay  the  small  fees  or  dues  for  maintenance. 

Country  and  beach  clubs  are  always  family  clubs  and  thus  necessarily 
more  relaxed  than  formal  town  clubs.  The  family  uses  them  during  summer 
week  ends  and  sometimes  in  the  winter,  too.  During  the  summer  the 
younger  generation— infants  with  their  nurses,  sitters,  or  mothers,  the  sub- 
teens  and  teen-agers— takes  over  during  the  week.  From  Monday  to  Friday 

227 


there  is  not  much  point  in  trying  to  keep  the  noise  down  to  a  bearable  level, 
except  late  in  the  day  when  adult  members  may  wish  to  use  the  club,  too. 
Infants  obviously  need  their  own  little  paddling  corner,  safe  from  the  older 
children.  All  the  children  need  some  adult  supervision  even  when  there  is 
no  water.  They  must  be  taught  early  to  use  their  own  equipment,  to  return 
borrowed  toys,  boats,  rafts,  balls,  and  other  things  when  they  have  finished 
using  them.  They  should  not  be  allowed  to  dig  up  turf  or  courts,  throw 
sand,  or  misuse  anything  in  the  club  house. 

Week  ends,  when  weary  adults  hope  for  some  relaxation,  children  must 
settle  for  less  than  the  full  facilities  of  the  club.  Parents  with  young  children 
should  try  to  keep  them  away  from  the  club  on  Saturdays,  Sundays,  and 
holidays  to  give  older  people  a  chance. 

Club  bills  should  be  settled  promptly  and  dues  never  be  allowed  to  ac- 
cumulate. Even  club  members  in  good  standing  should  remember  they  are 
there  by  sufferance,  by  tacit  consent.  The  club  itself  with  its  rules  and  its 
by-laws  creates  an  atmosphere  wherein  even  a  founder  member  has  the 
status  of  a  guest  the  minute  he  steps  on  the  grounds. 

CLUB    GUESTS 

Most  family  clubs  have  few  regulations  concerning  the  bringing  of  guests, 
but  good  taste  and  good  sense  enter  into  consideration  here,  too.  No  one 
should  bring  so  many  guests  that  the  facilities  of  the  club  are  thereby  taxed 
insofar  as  the  members  are  concerned.  For  example,  no  member  with  con- 
sideration will  fill  all  the  badminton  or  tennis  courts  with  his  guests  to  the 
exclusion  of  members.  Limited  guests  over  week  ends  should  be  an  unwrit- 
ten rule  if  guests  are  to  use  the  club  facilities  such  as  locker  and  steam  rooms, 
game  courts,  pools,  beach,  or  golf  course.  If  they  are  invited  to  be  spectators, 
that  is  another  matter,  but  they  should  always  be  the  kind  of  people  the  club 
might  welcome  as  members.  A  private  club  is  no  place  on  which  to  inflict 
one's  own  private  little  social  crosses. 


CHAPTER   TWENTY-SEVEN 

MANNERS  AT  TABLE 


A  man  or  woman  may  take  on  a  superficial  patina  of  breeding,  but  it  is  very 
difficult  to  overcome  slipshod  table  manners.  And  poor  manners  at  table  can 
be  a  real  deterrent  to  social— and  even  business— progress. 

Gentle  people  are  often  acutely  embarrassed  by  the  table  manners  of 
228 


PART  TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

those  with  whom  they  find  themselves  eating.  A  carefully  bred  wife  may 
suffer  much  inner  torture  because  her  husband— always  when  manners  seem 
very  important— forgetfully  leaves  his  spoon  in  his  cup  or  absent-mindedly 
licks  his  fingers.  It  is  the  job  of  a  good  wife  to  help  an  ambitious  husband 
overcome  these  poor  manners  in  a  tactful  way  if  she  can— not  solely  because 
they  offend  her  and  are  a  poor  example  for  the  children  but  because  good 
manners  can  help  him  advance  in  his  work  or  profession.  Of  course,  it  is 
sometimes  the  other  way  around,  and  people  are  even  less  willing  to  over- 
look bad  table  manners  on  the  part  of  women,  who  are  expected  to  be  fastid- 
ious about  such  things. 

Some  of  the  things  necessary  to  know  about  behavior  at  formal  meals  are 
discussed  under  "The  Guest  at  Formal  Meals."  But  there  are  many  more: 

who  is  served  first?  The  hostess  is  not  served  first  unless  she  is  the  only 
lady  at  the  table  or  is  alone  with  her  husband  and  children.  If  grandmother 
or  even  a  young  girl  guest  is  present,  the  dishes  are  first  presented  to  her 
after  inspection  by  the  hostess.  When  the  hostess  is  serving  at  least  part  of 
the  meal  from  in  front  of  her  place,  with  or  without  the  aid  of  a  servant,  she 
is  served  next  to  last  and  her  husband  last.  For  her  to  serve  herself  earlier 
will  mean  her  food  will  be  cold  and  her  filled  plate  in  the  way. 

when  to  begin  eating  After  several  people  have  been  served,  guests  begin 
eating,  so  their  food  will  not  be  cold.  But  children  wait,  if  they  are  old 
enough  to  understand,  until  at  least  several  guests  have  been  served  before 
beginning  to  eat,  too.  When  children  are  alone  with  their  parents  it  is  con- 
siderate of  them,  at  all  meals  but  breakfast,  to  wait  until  their  parents  begin 
eating  before  beginning  themselves,  unless  they  are  told  to  go  ahead.  And, 
except  at  breakfast,  the  polite  husband  waits  until  his  wife  has  been  served 
before  beginning  himself  to  eat. 

the  use  of  the  knife  and  fork  Knives  and  forks  may  be  used  American  or 
Continental  fashion,  but  a  combination  of  the  two  systems  is  now  often 
seen  and  is  quite  acceptable.  Even  when  one  uses  the  American  zigzag 
method,  it  is  sensible  to  convey  food  one  has  just  cut  to  the  mouth  with 
the  fork  in  the  left  hand,  if  one  wishes.  In  other  words,  if  you  have  cut 
off  a  bit  of  chop,  it  is  not  necessary,  even  conservative  American  style, 
to  lay  down  the  knife,  place  the  fork,  tines  up,  in  the  right  hand  and 
convey  the  meat  to  the  mouth.  Instead,  one  may  use  the  fork  in  the  left 
hand,  with  the  tines  of  the  fork  down.  Also,  in  eating  a  bit  of  bread  and 
gravy— by  impaling  the  bread  on  the  fork  (in  either  hand),  tines  down,  and 
sopping  up  the  gravy— it  is  now  more  usual  than  otherwise  to  convey  the 
bit  to  the  mouth  with  the  fork  tines  down  rather  than  up.  Of  course,  nothing 
that  would  leak  off  the  fork— apple  pie  or  other  things  needing  a  shoveling 
technique— should  be  eaten  this  way.  In  the  European  fashion,  food  eaten 
with  fork  and  knife  is  piled  with  the  knife  on  the  back  of  the  fork,  held  in 
the  left  hand,  and  pressed  down  so  it  won't  fall  off— or  in  the  case  of  meat, 

229 


impaled  on  the  tines.  The  fork  is  then  conveyed  to  the  mouth,  upside  down, 
with  the  left  hand. 

drinking  beverages  at  the  table  In  drinking  any  beverage  at  table,  a  sip 
is  never  taken  until  the  mouth  is  empty  and  has  been  wiped  with  the  nap- 
kin. This  keeps  cup  and  glass  rims  free  from  food  marks. 

the  napkin  Napkins  are  placed  on  the  lap— entirely  open  if  they  are  lunch- 
size  or  in  half  if  they  are  dinner  napkins.  Guests  wait  until  the  hostess  has 
taken  up  hers  before  placing  their  own.  Napkins  are  tucked  in  only  for 
children.  They  are  never  refolded;  at  the  end  of  the  meal,  they  are  gathered 
and  laid  casually  to  the  right  of  the  place  setting.  Paper  napkins  are  prefer- 
able to  napkins  to  be  used  for  more  than  one  meal  and  placed  in  rings,  but, 
if  rings  are  used,  they  are  given  only  to  the  family.  A  guest  staying  over 
should  have  a  clean  napkin  each  meal.  Napkins  reused  are  as  incomprehen- 
sible to  me  as  beds  which  have  only  one  sheet  changed.  There  are  so  many 
more  sensible  ways  to  economize. 

tipping  of  dishes  The  tipping  of  soup  or  dessert  dishes  is  acceptable  if  the 
plate  is  tipped  away  from  the  spoon,  not  toward  the  eater. 

the  soup  or  bouillon  cup  Soup  or  bouillon  served  in  a  handled  cup  or  even 
in  a  small  cup-size  bowl  (Oriental  fashion)  is  drunk.  If  there  are  dumplings 
or  decorative  vegetables  or  other  garnish  floating  on  top,  these  may  be  lifted 
out  first  with  the  spoon  before  the  soup  is  drunk.  Noodles  or  other  things 
which  may  be  in  the  bottom  of  the  cup  are  spooned  up  after  the  liquid  has 
been  drunk. 

testing  liqudds  Coffee  or  tea  may  be  tested  for  heat  or  sweetening  by  one  sip 
from  the  spoon,  then  drunk.  If  it  is  too  hot,  it  must  be  allowed  to  stand  until 
it  is  tolerable— it  may  not  be  blown,  spoonful  by  spoonful,  until  it  is  cool 
enough  to  drink. 

"stirring"  food  Nothing  should  ever  be  stirred  up  or  mashed  into  a  conglom- 
erate heap  on  the  plate.  Gravy— unless  it  is  a  gravy  in  which  meat,  fish  or 
other  protein  is  incorporated  (rarebits,  curries,  blanquettes,  chilis,  etc.)— is 
never  poured  or  ladled  onto  rice,  noodles,  or  other  than  meat  on  the  plate. 
It  is  an  insult  to  the  cuisine  to  inundate  everything  on  your  plate  with  gravy 
—or  with  that  American  favorite,  catsup.  If  you  want  to  eat  your  potatoes 
with  gravy,  you  dip  a  forkful  into  the  gravy  that  has  escaped  from  the  meat. 

conserves  and  jellies  Conserves  and  jellies  (jam  and  marmalade  are  for 
breakfast  and  tea)  may  be  served  at  dinner  or  lunch  with  meat  and  are 
placed  on  the  side  of  the  plate,  as  are  horse-radish,  cranberry  sauce,  apple 
butter,  relish.  They  are  incorporated  onto  the  fork  as  the  food  is  taken  into 
the  mouth.  Hard  sauce  is  placed  on  the  side  of  the  dessert  plate  and  incor- 
porated with  the  pudding  with  dessert  fork  or  spoon.  Dessert  sauces  are 
ladled  onto  the  dessert.  Liquid  sauces  (mint,  Chateaubriand,  Worcester- 
shire, etc. )  meant  for  the  meat  are  poured  only  onto  it. 

230 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

when  food  is  too  hot  Too  hot  foods  taken  accidentally  into  the  mouth  are 
never  hastily  spit  out  in  any  way  but  are  quenched  with  a  drink  of  water 
before  being  swallowed  (exception  to  rule  against  drinking  with  anything 
in  the  mouth). 

"spoiled"  food  Nothing,  not  even  a  bad  clam,  is  ever  spit,  however  surrepti- 
tiously, into  a  napkin.  But  it  is  sheer  masochism  to  down,  for  the  sake  of 
manners,  something  really  spoiled,  once  you  have  got  a  goodly  mouthful. 
Anyone  with  experience  in  those  foreign  countries  where  such  things  are 
common  knows  it  is  better  to  seem  unmannerly  than  to  brave  ptomaine 
or  worse.  Certainly,  a  partly  chewed  mouthful  of  food  looks  unappetizing  to 
one's  dinner  partner  if  it  has  been  necessary  for  you  to  deposit  it  from  your 
fork  on  the  side  of  the  plate.  It  should  be  screened,  if  possible,  with  some 
celery  leaves  or,  perhaps,  a  bit  of  bread.  And,  in  taking  it  out  of  your  mouth, 
try  not  to  look  as  if  anything  were  the  matter.  After  all,  if  you  were  eating 
stewed  or  canned  cherries,  you  would  place  the  pits  in  the  spoon  with  which 
you  were  eating,  then  place  them  on  the  side  of  your  plate  without  anyone 
thinking  the  procedure  disgusting. 

coughing  at  the  table  Ordinary  coughing  at  table  is  done  behind  the  hand, 
without  excuse,  but  a  coughing  fit,  brought  on  by  something  being  caught  in 
the  windpipe,  indicates  that  you  must  leave  the  table  immediately  without 
excuse  (you  can't  talk,  anyhow).  If  necessary,  your  partner  at  table  offers 
help  in  the  next  room— a  pat  on  the  back  or  a  glass  of  water.  If  there  is  a 
servant  present  he  or  she  attends  to  this  unless  the  hostess  indicates  to  some 
member  of  the  family  or  to  a  nearby  guest  that  help  might  be  better  from 
that  source. 

blowing  one's  nose  at  the  table  If  the  nose  must  be  blown  at  table,  it  is 
done  as  quietly  as  possible,  without  excuse  to  draw  attention  to  the  fact. 

"foreign  matter"  in  foods  Foreign  bodies  accidentally  taken  into  the  mouth 
with  food— gravel,  stones,  bird  shot— are  removed  with  thumb  and  forefinger, 
as  are  fish  bones  and  other  tiny  bones.  If  a  gnat  gets  into  a  beverage  or 
some  other  unappetizing  creature  turns  up  in  or  on  a  diner's  food,  he  fishes 
it  out,  unobserved  (so  others  won't  see  it  and  be  upset),  and  then  either 
proceeds  or  leaves  the  drink  or  dish  untouched,  depending  on  the  degree  of 
odiousness  of  the  intruder.  A  gnat  or  a  tiny  inchworm  on  lettuce  shouldn't 
bother  anyone,  but  most  fastidious  people  draw  the  line  at  a  fly  or  worse. 
If  the  hostess  notices  an  untouched  dish,  she  may  say,  "Do  let  me  serve  you 
a  fresh  portion,"  and  she  has  the  dish  or  drink  removed  without  remarking 
clinically  as  to  the  need  for  the  move.  Or  if  a  servant  notices,  she  asks  if  the 
guest  would  like  a  fresh  serving.  In  a  restaurant,  if  host  or  hostess  does  not 
notice  (and  both  should  be  alert  for  this  sort  of  thing)  that  something  is 
amiss,  the  guest  may  tactfully  murmur  to  the  waiter  that  the  dish  or  drink 
needs  changing— preferably  when  host  or  hostess's  attention  is  directed  else- 
where. 

231 


when  you  need  silverware  Your  own  wet  spoon  should  never  be  placed  in 
a  sugar  bowl,  nor  your  butter  knife  in  the  jam  or  butter  dish.  If  the  serving 
utensils  have  been  forgotten,  pause  long  enough  for  the  hostess  to  notice 
what's  happened. 

tasting  another's  food  Sometimes  a  couple  dining  in  a  restaurant  wish  to 
taste  each  other's  food.  This  is  informal  but  permissible,  though  only  if  a 
fresh  fork  or  spoon  is  used,  with  the  possessor  of  the  dish  then  handing  the 
"taste"  implement,  handle  first,  to  the  other  person.  The  other  must  not  reach 
across  the  table  and  eat  from  a  companion's  plate,  no  matter  how  many 
years  they  have  been  married.  If  one  of  the  two  has  had  included  some  item 
—say  French  fried  potatoes— in  his  order  and  doesn't  wish  them,  he  asks  the 
waiter  to  serve  them  to  the  other,  if  desired— he  doesn't  take  them  on  his 
plate,  then  re-serve  them. 

using  bread  as  a  "pusher"  A  bit  of  bread,  if  available,  is  used  to  push  food 
onto  a  fork— never  use  the  fingers.  At  formal  dinners  when  bread  is  not 
served  one  may  always  switch  to  the  Continental  style,  if  one  is  adept,  and 
chase  the  peas  onto  the  back  of  the  fork  held  in  the  left  hand,  pressing  them 
down  before  conveying  the  fork,  upside  down,  to  the  mouth.  Or,  holding 
the  fork  in  the  right— or  (French  and  Italian  fashion)  left— hand,  tines  up, 
on  plate,  one  may  guide  difficult  food  onto  it  with  the  side  of  the  knife. 

reaching  at  table  Reaching  at  table  is  now  preferred  to  asking  neighbors  to 
pass  things  one  can  well  take  up  himself,  but  one  should  not  have  to  rise  out 
of  his  seat. 

conversation  at  the  table  Conversation  and  laughter  should  always  be 
modified  at  table.  Loud  guffaws  are  disturbing  at  any  time  but  worse  from 
a  dinner  partner.  General  conversation,  though  it  should  never  fall  to  a  too 
confidential  tone  between  diners,  should  never  be  so  loud  that  the  hostess 
cannot  make  herself  heard,  if  she  wishes  to  address  the  table.  As  it  is  she 
who  guides  the  conversation,  it  is  necessary  for  guests,  even  at  a  distance, 
to  watch  her  for  possible  conversation  breaks  in  the  general  talk.  The  modern 
hostess  no  longer  does  what  her  Victorian  predecessor  did— that  is,  at  some 
point  halfway  through  dinner  "turn  the  table"  by  turning  and  talking  to  her 
dinner  partner  on  the  other  side,  with  everyone,  no  matter  where  he  was  in 
his  conversation,  expected  to  break  off  and  turn  in  the  same  direction  to 
talk  to  the  partner  on  that  side.  Instead,  well-bred  men  and  women  talk 
pleasantly  across  a  narrow  table  and  whenever  a  partner  on  one  side  seems 
disengaged  may  draw  him  or  her  into  the  conversation  on  the  other  side. 
No  two  partners  ever  allow  themselves  to  become  so  engrossed  in  conversa- 
tion as  to  exclude  everyone  else,  especially  partners  on  the  other  side, 
throughout  dinner.  And  it  is  the  host  and  hostess's  task  to  prevent  such  a 
thing. 

What  is  deemed  proper  table  conversation  today?  Almost  anything  except 
highly  controversial  (religion,  politics)  or  squeamish  topics  (accidents,  ill- 
232, 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND  MANNERS 

ness,  operations,  real  scandal,  unaesthetic  things),  but  many  sophisticated 
people  are  able  to  discuss  once  taboo-at-table  subjects  in  a  manner  that  is 
quite  inoffensive,  because  they  know  how  to  employ  polite  euphemisms  in 
the  same  or  a  foreign  language— being  sure  they  are  comprehensible,  of 
course,  to  the  others  at  the  table.  For  example,  one  of  the  funniest  anecdotes 
I  ever  heard  at  table  was  told  by  a  man  quoting  from  an  English  magazine.  In 
it  there  appeared  the  heading: 

John  Longbottom 
Aged  3  mo.  Dies 

The  English  magazine's  trenchant  comment  in  Latin,  "Ars  longa,  vita  brevis," 
would  be  impossibly  vulgar,  if  explained. 

posture  Elbows  on  the  table  are  permissible  between  courses  but  not  while 
one  is  eating.  Feet  should  be  kept  well  on  the  floor,  not  stretched  out  under 
the  table  or  wound  around  chair  legs  to  possibly  interfere  with  others. 

taking  portions  from  a  serving  dish  When  a  serving  dish  is  passed  with 
toast  or  patty  shells  beneath  some  food  in  a  sauce,  one  takes  toast  or  patty 
shells,  too.  While  their  function  is  sometimes  to  absorb  excess  liquid  (toast 
beneath  poached  eggs),  they  may,  of  course,  be  eaten,  cut  with  fork  or  fork 
and  knife,  never  in  the  fingers. 

When  a  dish  is  presented  with  serving  fork  and  spoon,  the  spoon  is  used 
to  cut  or  take  up  a  portion,  the  fork  is  placed  beneath  it  for  the  transfer  to 
the  plate.  Where  food  is  already  portioned— for  instance,  planked  steak— the 
guest  takes  the  whole  portion,  does  not  (in  this  case)  scrape  off  the  potatoes 
and  take  just  the  steak. 

additional  butter  In  eating  potatoes  or  other  vegetables,  if  additional  butter 
is  desired,  it  is  taken  from  one's  own  butter  plate  with  the  lunch  or  dinner 
fork.  The  butter  knife  is  only  for  the  buttering  of  breads. 

how  to  hold  classes  Large,  stemmed  glasses  (water  or  wine  goblets)  are 
held  with  the  thumb  and  first  two  fingers  at  the  base  of  the  bowl.  (Excep- 
tion: If  they  contain  chilled  white  wine,  they  are  held  by  the  stem  so  as 
not  to  heat  the  wine  with  the  fingers.) 

Small,  stemmed  glasses  are  held  by  the  stems.  Tumblers  are  held  near  the 
base,  but,  except  by  a  child,  never  with  both  hands.  A  brandy  snifter,  of 
course,  is  held  in  the  palms  of  both  hands  to  warm  the  liquor.  The  delicate 
fragrance  is  inhaled,  and,  finally,  the  contents  drunk,  almost  drop  by  drop. 

SAYING    GRACE 

The  saying  of  grace  is,  unfortunately,  not  the  daily  matter  it  used  to  be. 
But  in  many  homes  throughout  the  land  grace  is  said.  It  is  heard  after  the 
meal— on  Friday  night  especially— among  religious  Jews.  In  most  Christian 
homes  the  grace-saying  ceremony  is  often  limited  to  such  great  feast  days  as 
Thanksgiving,  Christmas,  and  Easter,  but,  especially  in  rural  communities, 

233 


grace  is  frequently  heard  at  the  main  meal  of  the  week,  Sunday  dinner.  It 
is  usually  said,  at  least  on  Sunday,  in  clergymen's  homes. 

A  guest  at  the  table  is  often  given  the  honor  of  saying  grace.  Some- 
times a  child  is  asked  to  say  it,  or  it  is  the  expected  privilege  of  the  head 
of  the  house  (i.e.,  father— mother  is  head  of  the  table). 

Grace  is  usually  said  after  everyone  is  seated  and  before  anything— nap- 
kins or  even  water— is  touched  on  the  table.  A  guest,  of  course,  waits  for  the 
hostess's  signal  before  unfolding  his  napkin,  thus  he  can  tell  whether  the 
table  is  waiting  for  all  to  be  quiet  so  grace  may  be  said.  Heads  are  bowed 
and  the  grace  is  said  by  one  person  at  the  table  with  the  "Amen"  intonea 
by  all.  In  Orthodox  and  Conservative  homes  all  say  ritual  grace.  In  Reform 
Jewish  homes  the  father  or  someone  designated  by  him  says  the  grace 
with  the  "Amen"  intoned  by  all.  Christian  graces,  like  prayers,  may  be 
extemporized,  of  course,  but  there  are  many  lovely,  familiar  ones. 

Here  are  two  for  children— the  first  an  old  Scotch  one  suitable  for  all 
religions: 

Thank  you  for  the  world  so  sweet 
Thank  you  for  the  food  we  eat 
Thank  you  for  the  birds  that  sing 
Thank  you  God  for  everything. 

Blessing  for  a  Christian  home: 

Bless  this  food 
And  make  us  good 
For  Jesus'  sake. 
Amen. 

In  religious  Jewish  homes  after  the  father  leads  the  general  prayers  before 
food,  a  child  may  say  this  grace: 

May  the  All  Merciful  bless  my 
father,  my  leader,  the  master 
of  this  house,  and  my  mother, 
my  teacher,  the  mistress  of 
this  house. 

Here  is  the  most  familiar  grace  of  all,  acceptable  to  all  religions: 

For  what  we  are  about  to  receive, 
Lord,  make  us  truly  thankful.     Amen. 

An  eighteenth-century  grace  from  Charles  County,  Maryland,  is  for 
Christian  homes: 

O  Lord,  forgive  us  our  sins  and 
bless  these  refreshments  in 
Christ's  name.     Amen. 

234 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

A  simple  one  for  a  guest  is  Ophelia's  blessing  from  Hamlet: 

God  be  at  your  table. 

Various  denominational  prayer  books,  too,  give  graces. 
Catholics  are  instructed  in  the  saying  of  grace  both  before  and  after  meals. 
A  Catholic  grace  before  meals  is: 

Bless  us,  O  Lord,  and  these  Thy 
gifts,  which  we  are  about  to  receive 
from  Thy  bounty,  through  Christ 
Our  Lord.     Amen. 

HOW    TO    EAT    VARIOUS    FOODS 

artichokes  A  finger  food.  The  leaves  are  pulled  off,  one  at  a  time,  the  fleshy 
base  dipped  in  the  accompanying  sauce,  then  dexterously  pulled  through 
the  teeth  to  extract  the  tender  part.  The  inedible  part  of  the  leaf  is  then 
placed  at  the  side  of  the  plate  so  that  by  the  time  the  choke  (the  fuzzy 
center)  is  reached  there  is  a  neat  pile  of  leaves  which,  if  the  artichoke  is 
very  big,  may  be  transferred  in  part  at  least  to  the  butter  plate,  for  greater 
convenience.  When  the  choke  appears,  it  is  held  with  the  fork  or  fingers  and 
the  tip  of  the  knife  neatly  excises  this  inedible  portion.  Then  the  reward  of 
all  the  labor  comes— the  delicate  fond  or  bottom  of  the  artichoke,  which,  if 
large,  is  cut  in  manageable  bits,  then  dipped  in  sauce  and  enjoyed 
thoroughly. 

asparagus  It  is  not  taboo  to  eat  this  in  the  fingers,  but  it  is  messy,  so  a  fork  is 
better.  Use  the  fork  to  separate  the  tender  part  from  the  tougher  end  of 
the  stem,  then,  again  with  the  fork,  reduce  the  edible  part  to  manageable 
lengths  to  be  dipped  in  sauce.  Do  not  chew  up  and  then  discard,  however 
delicately,  the  tougher  ends,  though  you  may  bite  off  anything  edible  that 
remains  on  the  ends  by  holding  them  in  your  fingers,  not  with  the  fork— but 
this  is  an  informal  procedure. 

bacon  Very  crisp  bacon  may  be  eaten  in  the  fingers  if  breaking  it  with  a  fork 
would  scatter  bits  over  the  table.  Bacon  with  any  vestige  of  fat  must  be 
cut  with  fork  or  knife  and  eaten  with  the  fork. 

birds,  frogs'  legs  Tiny  birds,  such  as  squab  and  quail,  and  the  bones  of  frogs' 
legs  may  be  eaten  in  part  with  the  fingers  when  the  legs  or  wings  are  so 
small  as  to  defy  all  but  the  most  expert  trencherman.  Such  small  bones  are 
held  in  the  fingers  by  one  end  while  the  other  end  is  placed  directly  in  the 
mouth.  The  impression  of  gnawing  the  bone  must  be  avoided.  It  is  no 
shame,  by  the  way,  for  a  lady  confronted  with  a  squab  or  half  a  broiled 
chicken  to  ask  assistance  from  the  gentleman  with  her  in  dissecting  it— unless 
perhaps  she's  at  a  formal  dinner.  This  is  better  than  running  the  risk  of 
having  the  meat  land  in  her  lap  or,  on  the  other  hand,  going  hungry,  if  she 
is  really  inept. 

235 


cake  Sticky  cake  is  eaten  with  a  fork.  Dry  cake,  such  as  pound  cake  or  fruit 
cake,  is  broken  and  eaten  in  small  pieces.  Tiny  confection  cakes  (served  at 
wedding  receptions,  etc.)  are  eaten  in  the  fingers.  Cream  puffs,  Napoleons, 
and  eclairs,  all  treacherous  as  to  filling,  are  eaten  with  a  fork. 

celery  and  olives  Celery  and  olives  are  on  the  table  when  guests  are  seated 
if  there  is  no  service;  or  they  are  passed  by  a  servant  during  the  soup  course. 
They  are  no  longer  considered  essential  even  at  formal  dinner.  They  are 
taken  in  the  fingers,  placed  on  the  side  of  the  plate  or  on  the  butter  plate 
(and  see  "Salt").  Olives,  if  small  and  stuffed,  are  put  all  at  once  in  the 
mouth— otherwise  they  are  bitten  in  large  bites  and  the  stone  put  aside  but 
not  cleaned  in  mouth. 

chicken  (Broiled  and  Fried)  Chicken  must  be  eaten  with  fork  and  knife  except 
at  picnics.  Bones  are  not  put  into  the  mouth  but  are  stripped  with  the  knife 
while  being  held  firmly  by  the  fork.  Joints  are  cut  if  one's  knife  is  sharp 
enough  and  it  can  be  done  without  lifting  the  elbows  from  the  normal  eating 
position.  Chicken  croquettes  should  be  cut  with  the  fork  only,  as  are  all 
croquettes  and  fish  cakes,  then  conveyed  to  the  mouth  in  manageable 
pieces. 

corn  on  the  coR  This  is  only  for  informal  eating  and,  unless  one's  teeth  will 
not  permit,  is  best  eaten  on  the  cob,  with  the  fingers  of  each  hand  firmly  in 
control  on  each  end.  A  long  ear  may  be  broken  in  half,  but  only  a  row  or 
so  at  a  time  is  buttered  and  seasoned,  never  the  whole  ear  at  once.  Salt 
already  mixed  with  butter,  pepper,  and  perhaps  paprika  and  shaped  in  little 
pats  or  balls  may  be  provided  by  the  considerate  hostess,  but  a  mixture  of 
salt,  butter,  and  pepper  may  be  made,  unnoticeably,  on  the  side  of  one's 
plate,  then  smeared  a  little  at  a  time  on  the  corn  as  you  are  eating  it.  If  the 
corn  is  to  be  cut  off  the  cob,  the  cob  is  held  on  one  end  with  th.3  left  hand 
and  the  kernels  cut  off  a  few  rows  at  a  time  with  the  dinner  knife  (which 
had  better  be  sharp  for  the  purpose).  The  kernels  are  then  seasoned  and 
eaten  a  forkful  at  a  time,  as  one  eats  peas.  There  are  small  silver  spears  for 
holding  corn,  but  if  they  are  provided  you  are  quite  free  to  ignore  them  for 
the  more  trustworthy  fingers-directly-on-corn  technique. 

fish  Small  fish,  fried,  are  usually  served  whole  (though  cleaned)  with  head 
and  tail  (smelt,  sunfish,  butterfish,  etc.).  The  head  is  cut  off  first,  then  the 
fish  is  held  in  place  with  the  fork  and  slit  with  the  tip  of  the  knife  from 
head  to  tail  and  laid  flat.  The  tip  of  the  knife  is  then  inserted  under  an  end 
of  the  backbone,  which  with  the  help  of  the  fork— in  a  serving  motion— is 
gently  lifted  out,  bringing  with  it  many  of  the  tiny  bones  in  the  fish.  This 
skeletal  material  is  laid  on  the  side  of  the  plate  or  possibly  on  the  butter 
plate.  The  balance  of  the  fish  is  then  cut  with  the  fork,  or  with  the  knife, 
if  need  be,  for  manageable  portions.  Any  tiny  bones  still  in  the  fish  when  it 
gets  into  the  mouth,  after  being  thoroughly  cleaned  in  the  mouth,  are  taken 
in  thumb  and  forefinger,  and  are  laid  on  the  edge  of  the  plate  or  on  the 

236 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

butter  plate  if  there  is  one.  There  is  no  objection  to  anyone  hardy  enough 
eating  the  head,  and  very  tiny  fish,  such  as  whitebait  (too  small  to  clean), 
are  eaten  head  and  all  in  one  bite.  Never  one  for  enjoying  the  sight  of  a  fish- 
eye  on  my  plate  or  in  my  chowder,  I  prefer  to  have  even  boiled  fish  (cod, 
haddock,  salmon)  come  to  the  table  with  the  head  removed,  but  it  is  quite 
proper  to  serve  it  whole,  with  a  lemon  filling  the  gaping  maw. 

fruit  Apples  and  Pears  Informally  eaten  in  the  hand,  but  at  table  they  are 
taken  onto  the  fruit  plate  and  spirally  peeled,  or  quartered  with  a  knife, 
then  peeled.  The  sections  are  then  cored  and  eaten  with  the  fingers  or  with 
the  fruit  fork.  Lady  apples,  tiny  as  crab  apples,  are  eaten  in  the  fingers  like 
plums. 

Apricots,  Cherries,  Kumquats,  Plums  Apricots,  cherries,  plums  are  eaten 
in  one  or  two  bites,  and  the  stones,  cleaned  in  the  mouth,  are  dropped  into 
the  cupped  hand  and  placed  on  the  side  of  the  plate.  Kumquats  are  bitten 
into  or  eaten  whole  depending  on  size. 

Halved  Avocados  In  their  shells  these  are  eaten  with  a  spoon,  scooped  out 
and  taken  spoonful  by  spoonful,  with  the  dressing  (perhaps  lime  juice  and 
powdered  sugar,  or  a  little  lake  of  French  dressing)  provided.  Halved  or 
quartered  avocados  in  salads  or  on  fruit  platters  are  eaten  with  the  fork 
after  being  broken  into  manageable  bites. 

Bananas  Very  informally  (at  picnics  and  by  small  children)  bananas  are 
peeled  down  with  the  end  of  the  skin  as  a  protective  holder.  When  eaten 
at  table  from  a  fruit  dish  they  are  peeled,  then  broken  as  needed  into  small 
pieces  and  conveyed  to  the  mouth  with  the  fingers. 

Berries  Eaten  with  a  spoon.  Large  strawberries  are  sometimes  served 
whole  with  their  stems  on.  These  are  grasped  by  the  stem  and  dipped  in 
powdered  sugar  on  the  plate,  then  eaten  in  one  or  two  bites,  with  the  stem 
remaining  in  the  fingers. 

Grapes  Cut  a  bunch  or  section  of  bunch  from  bunches  in  bowl  with  knife 
or  scissors  (never  absent-mindedly  pull  off  grapes  from  centerpiece  or  ar- 
rangement of  fruit) .  Eat  one  grape  at  a  time,  after  placing  bunch  on  serving 
plate.  Grape  skins,  if  you  can't  eat  them,  should  be  cleaned  in  the  mouth 
but  not  chewed,  then  removed  in  the  cupped  hand  with  the  pits  and  placed 
on  the  side  of  the  plate.  Or,  holding  the  grape  with  the  stem  end  to  the  lips, 
pop  the  inside  into  the  mouth  and  lay  skin  on  side  of  plate— if  they  will  pop. 

Grapefruit  Eaten,  halved,  with  a  pointed  fruit  spoon.  Sections  should  be 
loosened  with  grapefruit  knife  before  serving.  Do  not  squeeze  out  juice  at 
table,  except  en  farnille  if  the  family  can  stand  it. 

Mangoes  Wits  say  the  only  place  to  eat  them  is  in  the  bathtub.  But  they 
may  be  used  in  a  fruit  bowl  and  eaten  at  table,  even  though  the  best  way  to 
serve  them  is  peeled,  quartered,  pitted,  and  chilled.  A  whole  ripe  (spotted) 

237 


mango  should  be  cut  in  half  with  a  sharp  fruit  knife,  then  quartered.  Then, 
with  the  quarter  turned  skin  up  and  held  in  place  with  a  fork,  the  skin 
should  be  carefully  pulled  away  rather  than  peeled  from  the  fruit.  The  juicy 
sections  are  then  cut  in  one-bite  morsels.  Finger  bowls  or  at  least  paper 
napkins  are  necessary,  as  this  fruit  stains  badly. 

Oranges  Peeled  with  a  sharp  knife  in  one  continuous  spiral  (if  you're 
adept),  then  pulled  apart  into  segments  and,  if  the  segments  are  small,  eaten 
segment  by  whole  segment.  If  segments  are  large  they  are  cut  in  half  cross- 
wise with  the  fruit  knife  and  eaten  with  fingers  or  fruit  fork.  Navel  oranges 
are  sometimes  more  easily  eaten  if  the  skin  is  quartered,  then  pulled  down 
toward  the  navel  and  pulled  off.  The  navel  is  then  cut  off  and  the  orange 
segmented  or  cut  in  slices  and  eaten  with  the  fork.  At  breakfast,  oranges  may 
be  served  halved  like  grapefruit,  with  the  segments  loosened,  and  are  eaten 
with  a  fruit  spoon. 

Peaches  Halve,  then  quarter  with  fruit  knife.  Then  lifting  the  skin  of  each 
quarter  at  an  edge,  pull  it  off.  Eat  sections  in  small  pieces  with  fork,  prefer- 
ably, as  peach  juice  stains  table  linen. 

Persimmons  Often  served  as  a  first  course  with  the  top  cut  off  well  below 
the  stem  and  the  base  cut  flat  so  the  fruit  stands  firmly  on  the  plate.  Grasp- 
ing the  persimmon  with  the  left  thumb  and  index  finger,  scoop  out  and  eat 
a  spoonful  at  a  time,  keeping  the  shell  intact.  Avoid  the  skin  which,  unless 
dead  ripe,  is  puckery.  The  large  pits  are  cleaned  in  the  mouth,  dropped  into 
the  spoon,  and  then  deposited  on  the  side  of  the  plate.  Persimmons  in  salad 
are  peeled  and  quartered— too  difficult  a  procedure  to  attempt  at  table,  and 
persimmons  in  a  fruit  arrangement  firm  enough  to  be  decorative  are  likely 
to  be  all  but  inedible  anyway.  They  should  be  dead  ripe  and  slightly  spotted. 

Pineapple  Eaten  with  a  spoon  if  served  cut-up  for  dessert.  If  served  on 
flat  plates  in  quarters  or  eighths,  peeled  pineapple  is  eaten  with  a  fork,  after 
being  cut  with  fruit  knife. 

Stewed  or  Preserved  Fruit  The  pits  or  bits  of  core  of  cherries,  prunes, 
plums,  apples,  etc.,  eaten  in  compote  form  with  a  spoon  are  dropped  into 
the  spoon,  then  deposited  on  the  side  of  the  plate. 

Tangerines  Stripped  of  their  skins,  segmented,  and  eaten  in  Che  fingers 
without  cutting  or  breaking  the  segments. 

Watermelon  If  served  cubed  and  chilled  (often  in  white  wine),  eaten 
from  a  compote  with  a  fruit  spoon.  Otherwise  eaten  with  the  fork.  If  seeds 
are  present,  the  fruit  is  taken  seeds  and  all  into  the  mouth,  then  the  seeds 
are  cleaned  in  the  mouth,  dropped  into  the  cupped  hand,  and  placed  on 
the  side  of  the  plate,  entirely  dry. 

pickles  and  radishes     Whole  pickles  are  taken  with  the  fingers,  as  are  radishes. 
These  are  never  conveyed  from  the  serving  plate  directly  to  the  mouth  (nor 

238 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND   MANNERS 

is  anything  else  where  a  serving  plate  is  provided)  but  are  laid  on  the  side 
of  the  dinner  or  lunch  plate  or  butter  plate.  (And  see  "Salt.") 

potatoes  Baked  These  should  be  rubbed  with  fat  before  baking  and  be  pre- 
sented immediately  on  coming  from  the  oven,  a  cross  having  been  cut 
neatly  on  the  top  to  allow  the  escape  of  steam  and  to  permit  the  pre-service 
insertion  of  a  lump  of  butter,  plus  a  sprinkling  of  salt  and  paprika.  Then 
it  is  simple  to  hold  the  potato  with  the  left  hand  while  one  explores  its  in- 
nards with  the  fork.  But  if  a  baked  potato  is  presented  whole  it  is  taken 
from  the  dish  with  serving  fork  and  spoon,  then  broken  apart  with  the 
fingers  for  buttering  and  seasoning.  It  is  then  eaten  with  a  fork,  and  if  one 
wishes  the  skin  may  be  cut  up  with  a  knife  and  eaten  (never  cutting  it  up 
in  pieces  all  at  once,  any  more  than  one  would  meat).  If  the  skin  is  un- 
wanted, the  mealy  part  of  the  potato  is  eaten  right  from  the  skin  with  each 
portion  seasoned  just  before  entering  the  mouth.  Except  for  a  child,  do  not 
scoop  out  all  the  potato,  set  the  skin  aside  and  mash  the  contents  all  at 
once  with  butter  and  seasoning. 

Chips    Eaten  in  the  fingers. 

French  Fried  Eaten  with  the  fork  after  being  halved  with  the  fork,  if 
necessary.  Poor  manners  to  hold  an/  food  with  the  fork  and  nibble  off  a 
manageable  mouthful. 

Shoe  String  If  really  dry  and  impossible  to  eat  with  fork,  may  be  eaten 
in  the  fingers. 

salad  A  quarter  of  iceberg  lettuce  may  be  eaten  with  knife  and  fork, 
though  gourmets  and  nutritionists  both  frown  on  the  cutting  of  lettuce  in 
salad  preparation.  Lettuce  for  mixed  salad  should  be  broken  in  bits  and 
mixed  at  the  last  minute— to  preserve  the  vitamin  content. 

salt  If  there  is  only  one  saltcellar  on  the  table  (as  there  is  when  a  condi- 
ment set  is  used  or  when  there  is  a  master  salt),  the  salt  is  always  sent  down 
the  table  to  the  honored  guest,  if  there  is  one,  or  to  the  hostess  before  mak- 
ing the  rounds  of  the  family.  If  salt  is  needed  for  dipping  radishes  or  celery 
or  for  corn  on  the  cob  it  is  placed  on  the  edge  of  the  plate,  never  on  the 
table  cloth.  If  open  salts  are  used  and  no  salt  spoon  provided,  use  a  clean 
knife  to  take  salt  from  a  common  container.  If  individual  open  salts  are  at 
each  place,  salt  may  be  taken  between  thumb  and  forefinger. 

sandwiches  Small  tea  sandwiches  and  canapes  are  taken  in  the  fingers  and 
bitten  into  or,  if  bite-size,  placed  whole  in  the  mouth.  Double-  and  triple- 
decker  club  sandwiches,  though  served  cut  crosswise,  are  eaten  at  least  with 
the  aid  of  knife  and  fork.  If  they  are  not  too  unmanageable,  they  may  be 
cut  into  fourths  and  eaten  in  the  fingers.  Otherwise,  they  are  eaten  with  the 
fork,  after  being  cut  into  small  bits. 

239 


HOW  TO  EAT  A  LOBSTER— BOILED 

or  broiled:  1.  Holding  the 
body  of  the  lobster  on  the 
plate  with  the  left  hand,  twist 
off  the  claws  with  the  right. 
Lay  on  side  of  plate.  2.  Hold- 
ing the  lobster  steady  on 
plate,  if  necessary,  lift  up  tail 
meat  with  fork.  Cut  into 
manageable  segments  with 
knife,  dip  in  melted  butter  or 
mayonnaise.  3.  Break  off 
small  claws  and  gently  suck 
out  meat  from  severed  end. 
4.  Crack  big  claws,  extract 
meat  with  seafood  fork  or  nut 
pick,  dip  in  melted  butter  or 
mayonnaise.  5.  With  seafood 
fork,  pick  out  the  good  meat 
in  the  body,  including  the 
tamale,  the  green  liver  (and 
in  females,  the  scarlet  roe). 
Real  lobster  lovers  unhinge 
the  back  and  open  the  body 
of  the  lobster  to  extract  the 
remaining  sweet  morsels. 


240 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

seafood  Clams  (steamed)  The  steaming  process  is  supposed  to  open  the  shell 
completely  but  sometimes  doesn't.  If  a  shell  is  not  fully  open,  take  it  up 
and  bend  it  back  with  the  fingers.  If  this  doesn't  work,  forget  that  one— do 
not  use  a  dinner  knife  or  fork  as  an  opener.  With  shell  fully  open,  take  the 
shell  in  left  hand  just  over  the  dish  and  with  the  right  hand  lift  out  the 
clam  by  the  neck.  Holding  the  neck  with  the  right  hand,  pull  the  body  of 
the  clam  from  it  and  discard  the  neck  sheath.  Holding  the  clam  by  the 
neck  with  the  right  hand,  place  the  whole  clam  first  in  melted  butter  or 
broth,  or  both  alternately,  then  in  the  mouth  in  one  bite.  As  empty  shells 
collect,  remove  to  butter  plate  or  shell  plates  provided  (and  as  clam-eating 
of  this  kind  is  always  informal,  it  is  an  excellent  idea  for  the  hostess  to  pro- 
vide platters  or  bowls  for  empty  shells  as  well  as  finger  bowls  with  hot 
soapy  water  afterward).  Do  not  spoon  up  remaining  liquid  in  soup  plate- 
it  may  be  sandy— but  drink  the  broth  separately  provided  in  a  bouillon  cup 
or  small  bowl  (but  not  if  it  is  in  a  little  dish).  If  clams  are  fried,  eat  with 
fork  after  breaking  into  two  pieces  if  necessary.  As  these  are  greasy  they 
should  not  be  taken  in  the  fingers,  even  by  the  neck. 

Lobster  and  Hard-Shelled  Crabs  (broiled  or  boiled)  The  claws  of  both  of 
these  require  dexterous  handling.  They  should  be  cracked  in  the  kitchen 
but  further  cracking  at  table  (with  a  nutcracker)  may  be  needed.  Then  the 
shells  are  pulled  apart  by  the  fingers  and  the  tender  meat  extracted  care- 
fully so,  if  possible,  it  comes  out  whole.  A  nut  pick  is  useful  for  this,  but  an 
oyster  fork  may  do  it,  too.  The  claw  meat,  if  small  and  in  one  piece,  is  dippec 
in  melted  butter  or,  with  cold  crab  or  lobster,  in  mayonnaise,  then  put  all  at 
once  into  the  mouth.  Larger  pieces  are  first  cut  with  a  fork.  The  green 
material  in  the  stomach  cavity,  called  the  tamale,  along  with  the  "coral"  or 
roe  in  the  female,  are  delicacies  and  should  be  eaten  with  the  fork.  The 
small  claws  are  pulled  from  the  body  with  the  fingers,  then  the  body-ends 
placed  between  the  teeth  so  the  meat  may  be  extracted  by  chewing  (but 
without  a  sucking  noise).  The  major  portion  of  meat  is  found  in  the  stomach 
cavity  and  the  tail  and  is  first  speared,  one  side  at  a  time,  with  the  fork, 
then  with  the  help  of  the  knife,  if  necessary,  lifted  out  and  cut  as  needed  into 
mouthfuls,  then  dipped  in  sauce  or  mayonnaise  with  the  fork. 

Mussels  Served  pickled  or  smoked  on  toothpicks  as  cocktail  titbits  and 
are  thus  taken  via  toothpick  directly  to  the  mouth.  Served  shells  and  all  in 
a  variety  of  soup  styles,  too— Moules  Marinieres  (Mussels  mariner  style)  in 
a  soup  dish  with  a  delicate  thin  souplike  sauce  redolent  with  garlic.  The 
mussels  may  be  picked  out  with  small  oyster  fork  provided,  but  it  is  easier 
and  just  as  correct  to  use  the  shells  containing  the  mussels  as  small  scoops. 
Pick  up  with  the  right  hand  and,  placing  the  tip  of  the  shell  in  the  mouth 
gently  (and  silently),  suck  out  mussel  and  sauce,  then  discard  shell  onto 
butter  plate  or  platter  provided.  When  shells  have  been  cleared  from  dish, 
eat  balance  of  sauce  with  spoon  and  bits  of  French  bread  used  to  sop  up 
sauce,  then  conveyed  to  mouth  with  fork.  Italian  variety  of  this  dish  has 

241 


tomato,  is  eaten  the  same  way,  often  as  a  main  dish  with  salad.  Finger  bowl 
essential. 

Oysters  and  Clams  (half  shell)  Hold  the  shell  steady  with  left  hand  and, 
using  oyster  fork,  lift  oyster  or  clam  whole  from  shell,  detaching,  where 
necessary,  with  fork.  Dip  in  cocktail  sauce  in  container  on  plate,  if  desired. 
Eat  in  one  mouthful.  Oyster  crackers  may  be  dropped  whole  in  sauce,  ex- 
tracted with  oyster  fork  and  eaten. 

Shrimps,  Scallops,  Oysters  (fried)  Eaten  like  fried  clams,  except  that 
oriental  fried  shrimp  (French  fried  with  the  tails  on)  are  to  be  taken  up 
by  the  tail  and  dipped  in  sauce,  then  bitten  off  to  the  tail,  which  is  then 
discarded.  Unshelled  shrimp  are  lifted  in  the  fingers,  shelled,  and  conveyed 
whole  to  the  mouth. 

Snails  Usually  served  on  a  hot  metal  plate.  A  special  hinged  holder  with 
which  to  grip  the  hot  snail  shells  is  usually  provided  (or  hold  the  shell  with 
your  napkin  protecting  the  fingers),  as  snails  must  be  dug  out.  The  holder 
grips  the  shell  with  the  left  hand  while  the  right  pulls  out  the  snail  with 
a  pick  or  oyster  fork.  Snails  are  eaten  whole,  like  raw  oysters.  When  the 
shells  have  cooled,  it  is  proper  to  tilt  them  into  the  mouth  to  get  the  garlic 
butter  and  snail  liquor,  or  one  may  sop  this  up  with  bits  of  French  bread, 
which  are  then  conveyed  to  the  mouth  with  the  fork. 

spaghetti  The  aficionado  knows  that  the  only  graceful  and  satisfying  way  to 
eat  real  Italian  spaghetti  (which  comes  in  full-length  or  perhaps  half-length 
rounds)  is  to  eat  it  with  a  large  soup  spoon  and  a  fork.  The  spoon  is  placed 
in  the  left  hand  more  or  less  upright  in  the  plate  (or  often  platter)  of 
spaghetti.  The  right  hand  uses  the  fork  with  the  tip  of  the  prongs  against 
the  spoon  to  wind  the  spaghetti  into  a  manageable  mouthful.  It  should  not 
drip  off  the  fork.  The  forkful  of  spaghetti  is  then  conveyed  to  the  mouth 
while  the  spoon  remains  in  the  hand  and  on  the  platter.  As  with  any  sauced 
dish,  it  should  be  eaten  without  stirring  the  spaghetti,  grated  cheese,  and 
meatballs  (or  other  garnish)  all  together,  infant  style.  The  timid  way  to  eat 
spaghetti  is  to  cut  it  into  small  bits  with  knife  and  fork  and  eat  it  with 
fork  alone.  Thick  macaroni  can't  be  eaten  rolled  on  a  fork  so  readily  and  is 
better  cut  with  a  fork  as  one  goes  along.  Remaining  sauce  of  each  dish  may 
be  eaten  with  a  spoon  or  sopped  up  with  small  bits  of  bread,  which  are  then 
eaten  with  a  fork. 

tortillas  These  are  laid  flat  in  the  left  hand  or  on  plate,  filled  slightly  with 
frijoles  (kidney  beans)  or  other  appropriate  mixture,  rolled  up  and  eaten  like 
a  rolled  sandwich,  endwise. 


243 


PART  TWO      DRESS   AND  MANNERS 


CHAPTER    TWENTY-EIGHT 

OUR  COMMUNITY  RELATIONS  AND  INTERFAITH 
COURTESY  AND  UNDERSTANDING 


If  we  know  nothing  of  our  neighbor's  beliefs  or  background  we  may  unwit- 
tingly offend  him.  If  we  have  only  a  vague  idea  of  his  religious  customs  and 
taboos  we  may  seem  discourteous  by  our  failure  to  respect  them  in  our 
contact  with  him. 

Courtesy  is  a  superficial  name  for  actions  that  can  have  a  very  important 
place  in  the  character  building  of  a  human  being.  Both  children  and  adults 
should  know  about  the  often  unthinking  cruelty  inherent  in  intolerance  of 
other  religions  than  their  own.  And  how  intolerance  often  stems  from  our 
primitive  suspicion  of  anything  that  is  different  or  not  a  part  of  our  own 
experience. 

Many  educators  believe  that  one  way  to  help  children  and  adults  toward 
better  relations  with  their  fellow  man  is  to  give  them  some  knowledge  of 
others'  beliefs  and  customs  as  a  purely  educational  activity,  not  with  the 
idea  of  disturbing  their  own  religious  affiliations.  There  are  important  dif- 
ferences and  similarities  between  denominations,  between  the  belief  of  the 
Roman  Catholic  and  that  of  the  Jew— and  among  Jews  themselves— between 
what  the  Quaker  believes  and  what  guides  the  Buddhist  or  the  Greek 
Catholic.  If  we  think  less  of  the  differences  and  inform  ourselves  of  the 
siirdfarities  I  believe  we  will  have  a  warmer,  more  understanding  attitude 
toward  our  neighbors. 

The  wise  parent,  I  feel,  teaches  his  child  that  no  matter  what  people's 
beliefs  are,  all  who  follow  religion  are  seeking  the  same  thing,  the  strength 
to  be  good.  Or  what  in  their  religion  teaches  them  is  good  and  worthy  in 
their  day-to-day  communion  with  their  fellow  men. 

Our  country  may  be  predominantly  Protestant,  but  the  lives  of  all  our 
minorities  are  intimately  connected  with  our  own,  many  in  very  subtle  ways. 
If  our  Italian  tradesmen  shut  their  shops  to  celebrate  the  Feast  of  St. 
Anthony,  we  may  be  affected.  For  that  day  at  least  we  must  find  other 
places  to  shop,  just  as  on  Yom  Kippur  much  business  throughout  the  country 
slows  down  or  stops  or  is  in  some  way  affected— through  the  absence  of 
personnel  or  the  closing  of  some  key  business  houses.  If  every  fourth  or  fifth 
person  we  meet  on  St.  Patrick's  Day  is  wearing  the  green,  we  are  conscious 
of  the  Irish-descended  among  us,  of  their  predominantly  Catholic  adherence. 

*43 


Every  community  has  its  minorities.  A  Methodist  is  in  the  minority  in  an 
Irish  or  Italian  neighborhood.  A  white  man  is  in  the  minority  in  the  China- 
towns or  in  the  Harlems  of  America.  The  key  to  comfortable  community  life 
is  courtesy— true  courtesy  that  respects  the  rights  and  feelings  of  all.  Courtesy 
and  friendly  knowledge  about  your  neighbor  help  prevent  tensions.  As 
America  grows  we'll  need,  more  and  more,  to  use  courtesy  in  our  community 
life. 

SHOULD  A  CHRISTIAN  SEND  A  CHRISTMAS  CARD  TO  A  JEWISH  FRIEND? 

I  think  that  depends  on  whether  the  friend  is  a  deeply  religious  Orthodox 
Jew  or  one  who  thinks  of  Christmas  and  perhaps  celebrates  it,  especially  if 
he  has  children,  as  the  national,  gift-giving  holiday  it  has  become.  It  is  per- 
haps better  to  avoid  cards  illustrating  the  Nativity.  Many  Jews  now  send 
non-religious  Christmas  greeting  cards,  have  Christmas  trees,  and  give  and 
receive  gifts. 

DIETARY    LAWS    OF    VARIOUS    RELIGIONS 

What  about  food  restrictions  of  Jews  and  the  fast  days  of  Roman  and  Greek 
Catholics  and  some  Episcopalians?  What  about  Lent?  As  almost  everyone 
knows,  Catholics  do  not  eat  meat  on  Friday  and  on  certain  fast  days  or 
during  Lent,  the  forty  days  commemorating  Jesus's  wandering  in  the  wilder- 
ness. During  Lent  all  Catholics  and  many  Protestants  keep  certain  Holy 
Days  through  special  church  attendance  and  fasting.  Individuals  often  make 
token  personal  sacrifices  by  giving  up  candy,  smoking,  or  other  non-necessi- 
ties of  life  as  a  form  of  self-denial  during  this  period. 

If  a  Catholic  is  to  be  your  guest  on  Friday,  it  is  considerate  to  plan  your 
meal  around  non-meat  dishes,  if  such  a  solution  is  acceptable  to  the  majority 
who  will  be  at  table.  On  the  other  hand,  to  abandon  the  roast  beef  everyone 
has  been  looking  foward  to  in  favor  of  fish  is,  perhaps,  to  make  the  guest  un- 
comfortable. When  such  a  guest  arrives  unexpectedly  and  there  seems  no 
solution  for  him  but  to  eat  meat  or  go  hungry,  his  Church  does  not  expect 
him  to  do  the  latter  but  will  make  dispensation  available  to  him.  But  for  a 
non-Catholic  hostess  never  to  consider  this  problem  with  Catholic  guests  is 
thoughtless,  to  say  the  least.  Where  special  food  must  be  served  a  guest, 
whether  he  be  an  abstaining  Catholic  or  Episcopalian,  a  non-shellfish  eating 
Jew,  or  a  man  with  an  ulcer,  let  it  be  done  without  drawing  the  table's  at- 
tention to  the  fact. 

An  Orthodox  Jew,  in  the  minority  among  American  Jews  today,  has  many 
rigid  restrictions  concerning  food  and  its  preparation,  but  naturally  no  non- 
Jewish  home  is  equipped  to  follow  them.  However,  it  is  important  to  know 
that  people  who  at  home  keep  kosher  will  usually  not  feel  free  to  eat  the 
following  foods  away  from  home:  any  fish  that  is  without  gills,  fins,  or  scales 
—the  scavenger  fish  such  as  eels;  any  seafood,  and  this  includes  oysters, 
crabs,  lobsters,  mussels,  clams,  crawfish;  reptiles— turtles,  for  example;  or 

244 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

pork  in  any  form.  On  the  other  hand,  never  assume  that  your  Jewish  friend 
adheres  to  the  old  restrictions.  It  is  better  to  ask.  I  have  known  Conservative 
Jews  who,  as  my  guests,  would  condone  the  garlic  butter  on  the  steak,  eat 
baked  ham,  but  refuse  a  lobster.  Reform  Jews  have  no  food  restrictions, 
but  they  do  have  fast  days. 

Moslems,  many  of  whom  are  racially  Semites,  have  many  of  the  same 
food  restrictions.  They  may  not  eat  pork  in  any  form  or  shellfish.  The  old 
religious  leaders  knew  the  peril  of  eating  improperly  cooked  or  cured  pork, 
the  danger  of  trying  to  keep  it  without  refrigeration,  so  they  forbade  it.  The 
equally  perishable  shellfish  they  prohibited  too,  not  on  the  ground  that  there 
was  anything  basically  impure  about  it,  as  I  understand  it,  but  because 
unless  it  was  handled  in  a  most  sanitary  way  and  eaten  almost  as  soon  as  it 
was  caught  it  was  dangerous. 

It  is  interesting,  too,  that  the  mere  proximity  of  these  foods  to  permitted 
foods  is  forbidden.  In  my  own  home,  we  often  give  buffet  suppers  when 
there  is  a  large  crowd.  Among  my  guests  on  one  such  occasion  was  an  old 
friend,  an  Arab  sheik.  Both  a  ham  and  a  turkey  were  on  the  buffet  table, 
and,  as  the  meat  was  carved,  someone  passed  the  sheik  a  plate  containing  a 
slice  of  ham  and  a  slice  of  turkey.  He  sat  politely  with  the  plate  of  food 
untouched  until  I  noticed  what  had  happened  and  took  the  plate  from  him. 
Then,  not  completely  understanding  the  problem,  I  merely  removed  the 
slice  of  ham  and  returned  the  plate  with  more  turkey.  Still  he  ate  nothing, 
and  when  my  attention  turned  to  him  again  I  realized  at  last  what  was  the 
matter.  The  whole  plate  had  been  "contaminated"  by  the  ham.  I  got  a  clean 
plate  and  served  him  again,  omitting  the  ham,  of  course,  and  all  was  well. 
As  he  was  a  devout  Moslem,  my  friend  did  not  take  alcohol  in  any  form, 
although  some  Moslems  do,  and  many  smoke,  although  the  Prophet  forbade 
smoking  as  well  as  drinking.  In  place  of  occupying  himself  with  a  cigarette, 
the  Moslem  will  often  run  his  prayer  beads  through  his  fingers  as  he  talks 
with  friends  or  he  will  consume  interminable  cups  of  the  sweet,  thick 
"Turkish"  coffee  drunk  demitasse  without  cream. 


RELIGIOUS    HOLIDAYS 

The  first  day  of  Lent,  Ash  Wednesday,  is  kept  by  the  Catholics  and  the 
Episcopalians,  particularly,  and  their  churches  have  special  services  on  that 
day.  Then  both  Catholics  and  high  church  Episcopalians  may  be  seen  with 
a  smudge  of  ashes  on  their  foreheads  where  the  sign  of  the  cross  has  been 
made  by  the  officiating  priest  with  ashes  from  the  preceding  Palm  Sunday's 
palms  burned  for  this  Holy  Day. 

On  Palm  Sunday,  the  last  Sunday  before  Easter,  you  will  see  Catholics, 
Episcopalians,  Presbyterians,  Methodist-Episcopalians  among  the  worship- 
ers coming  from  church  with  palm  leaves  or  strips  of  palm  to  commemorate 
the  palms  carried  on  the  entry  of  Jesus  into  Jerusalem. 

No  matter  what  our  own  religious  beliefs,  in  heterogeneous  America  we 

245 


are  conscious  of  many  of  the  major  religious  festivals— Ash  Wednesday,  Palm 
Sunday,  Good  Friday,  Easter,  Christmas.  In  some  areas  we  note  Chinese 
New  Year  with  its  paper  dragons  on  parade,  its  firecrackers  to  warn  off  evil 
spirits,  Russian  Easter  and  the  New  Year  that  follow  the  Gregorian  calen- 
dar in  the  Greek  Orthodox  Church.  We  are  conscious,  too,  of  the  traditional 
Jewish  Holy  Days— Hanukah,  which  corresponds  in  time  to  Christmas  and  is 
an  eight-day  festival  of  lights  and  gift-giving,  Purim,  the  Spring  festi- 
val celebrating  the  victory  of  the  Jews  over  the  tyrant  Haman,  Passover,  the 
Jewish  freedom  day.  This  is  a  time  of  joy  and  great  preparation,  new  clothes 
for  the  family,  special  feast  food,  and  even  something  comparable  to  the 
Easter  egg  hunt,  the  hunt  by  the  father  for  any  leaven  in  the  house  (with  the 
mother  always  arranging  for  him  to  find  it,  to  add  to  the  fun).  This  mock 
hunt  commemorates  the  fact  that  in  the  Passover  the  Children  of  Israel  were 
ordered  to  flee  Egypt,  as  is  told  in  the  Bible,  without  taking  time  to  leaven 
their  bread.  Then,  of  course,  there  are  Rosh  Hashana,  the  Jewish  New  Year, 
and  Yom  Kippur,  the  Day  of  Atonement.  And  in  big  cities,  at  least,  it  is  pos- 
sible that  we  might  meet  a  Moslem  who,  though  in  Western  clothes,  is 
keeping  a  special  one-month  period  like  Lent,  Ramadan,  as  did  a  Persian 
prince  I  knew,  by  wearing  a  mourning  band  on  his  arm  and  leaving  his 
collar  open  at  the  neck.  He  fasts  from  sunrise  to  sunset,  denies  himself,  and 
ends  the  period  with  a  happy  festival. 

CEREMONIES    OF    MANY    FAITHS 

There  are  many  similarities  in  our  various  religions  and  sects.  Both  Catholics 
and  Episcopalians  celebrate  the  Circumcision  because  the  baby  Jesus,  like 
all  Jewish  boy  babies  of  religious  parents,  was  taken  to  the  synagogue  on  his 
eighth  day  of  life  to  be  named  and  circumcised  with  the  appropriate  cere- 
mony. Among  religious  Jews  (and  Moslems,  too)  the  day  of  circumcision  is 
the  same  day  as  the  boy  child's  naming.  On  this  day,  like  many  Christian 
children,  he  is  given  godparents.  (Non-ritual  circumcision  is  now  practiced 
very  generally,  whenever  the  obstetrician  deems  it  necessary  or  where  par- 
ents desire  it  as  the  health  measure  the  ancient  Jews  knew  it  to  be.)  A  girl 
receives  her  name  when  her  father  goes  to  synagogue  as  soon  as  possible 
after  she  is  born,  usually  on  a  Sabbath  (which  is  from  Friday  at  sunset  until 
Saturday  at  sunset)  and,  reciting  a  little  prayer  at  the  altar,  states  her  name. 
Jewish  girls  of  Conservative  or  Reform  congregations  may  have  godparents, 
too,  like  their  brothers. 

In  the  Reform  temple  confirmation  takes  place  for  boys  and  girls  at 
fourteen  or  fifteen,  sometimes  sixteen,  years  of  age.  The  children  are  con- 
firmed as  a  group  in  a  solemn  and  meaningful  ceremony  usually  on  the 
Feast  of  Weeks,  or  Pentecost,  which  comes  seven  weeks  after  Passover. 
In  many  congregations  it  is  now  customary  for  boys  and  girls  to  wear 
academic  robes  for  their  confirmation,  with  the  girls  in  white  and  the  boys 
in  black  or  blue.  Many  Conservative  temples  now  have  the  group  confirma- 

246 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 

tion  service  as  well  as  Bas  Mitzvah  and  Bar  Mitzvah.  Many  Reform  temples 
have  both  Bar  Mitzvah  as  well  as  later  confirmation. 

Among  Catholics  the  baptism— which  joins  the  child  to  the  Church— takes 
place  as  soon  after  the  birth  of  the  child  as  possible,  during  its  first  month 
of  life,  usually  on  a  Sunday  afternoon.  Catholic  children  have  just  one  set 
of  godparents.  Some  Protestant  demoninations  permit  two  godfathers  for 
a  boy  or  two  godmothers  for  a  girl.  And  some  wait  until  the  child  is  of  an  age 
to  understand  the  baptismal  ceremony  before  performing  it.  Other  Prot- 
estants don't  baptize  at  all. 

Catholic  children  often  receive  multiple  names,  one  of  which  is  that  of 
a  Saint,  perhaps  that  of  the  Saint  on  whose  day  he  was  born.  These  names 
are  not  always  all  used  when  the  child  grows  up,  but  they  are  his  officially, 
nonetheless,  even  though  he  may  use  a  shorter  form  of  his  name  for  legal 
and  social  purposes.  Greek  Orthodox  children  have  just  one  given  name.  A 
Jewish  child  of  traditional  background  is  rarely  "Jr.,"  "2nd"  or  "3rd"  because 
it  is  not  customary  for  Jews  to  be  named  for  living  people.  If  any  meaningful 
name  is  used,  it  is  usually  that  of  someone  recently  dead,  although  the 
Biblical  names  are  popular  among  Jews,  too. 

The  children  of  Congregational  parents  may  be  baptized  at  any  age,  and 
godparents  are  not  traditional,  though  permissible.  Often  Congregationalists 
of  Episcopal  or  Lutheran  background  like  to  have  godparents  for  their 
children. 

Some  Baptists— depending  on  whether  they  are  liberal  or  conservative- 
dedicate  their  children  to  the  Church  soon  after  birth.  Actual  baptism  with 
complete  immersion  takes  place  any  time  after  the  age  of  twelve,  when  the 
individual  is  believed  to  be  able  to  make  a  free-will  decision  to  come  into  the 
church.  After  this,  as  in  most  of  the  "gathering"  denominations,  he  is  elected 
to  church  membership. 

Presbyterians  baptize  at  any  age,  without  godparents,  then,  after  the  age 
of  twelve,  the  individual  is  elected  to  the  Church.  There  is  no  confirmation. 
Lutheran  baptism  is  similar  to  that  of  the  Episcopalians,  with  the  child 
having  at  least  one  sponsor.  As  with  Episcopalians,  the  Lutherans  accept  the 
child  into  the  Church  at  the  time  of  baptism  and  confirm  the  pledges,  made 
by  the  godparents  at  the  time  of  baptism,  when  the  child  is  twelve  years 
old.  The  Eastern  Orthodox  confirm  at  the  time  of  baptism  in  early  infancy. 

Methodists  baptize  at  any  time,  and  the  child  has  at  least  one  sponsor. 
The  parents  make  a  statement  at  the  time  of  baptism  promising  to  bring  up 
the  child  in  the  Christian  way  of  life.  Then  as  the  child  approaches  adult- 
hood, any  time  from  twelve  on,  he  is  prepared  for  admission  to  the  Church 
through  an  affirmation  of  faith. 

PARTICULAR    COURTESIES 

Does  a  Protestant  walking  with  a  Catholic  lift  his  hat,  too,  as  he  passes  a 
Catholic  church?  He  may  if  he  wishes,  out  of  courtesy,  but  no  one  would 
expect  it. 

247 


Does  a  non-Jew  attending  a  wedding  in  a  synagogue  wear  his  hat  if  the 
congregation  follows  the  old  custom?  Of  course  he  does,  just  as  non-Catholic 
women  entering  a  Catholic  house  of  worship,  even  as  tourists,  cover  their 
heads,  if  only  with  a  scrap  of  handkerchief,  out  of  respect  for  the  church 
custom. 

Should  a  Catholic  attending  a  wedding  in  a  Quaker  meeting  house  cross 
himself  and  make  obeisance  before  sitting  down?  Probably  not,  as  there  is 
no  altar. 

How  does  one  reply  to  a  Quaker  who  uses  "thee"  and  "thou"?  The  use  of 
"you"  would  be  more  natural,  I  believe. 

Should  the  Christian  Scientist  kneel  at  the  funeral  Mass  for  a  friend,  or 
should  he  merely  bow  his  head  as  is  his  usual  custom? 

These  are  difficult  questions  for  anyone  to  answer.  We  might  say,  "When 
in  Rome  .  .  .  ,"  but  there  are  religious  practices  such  as  crossing  oneself, 
lighting  votive  candles,  or  repeating  the  Creed  that  seem  out  of  place  or 
even  hypocritical  in  one  for  whom  such  rites  or  statements  of  faith  are  not 
usual. 

It  is  not  necessary  to  stretch  courtesy  to  the  point  of  offending  one's  own 
conscience,  yet  one  may  stay  within  the  form  of  the  service  one  is  attending, 
sufficiently  to  show  proper  respect  for  the  traditions  and  rules  of  that  particu- 
lar house  of  worship,  standing  when  others  stand,  bowing  the  head  at  least 
when  prayers  are  said,  covering  or  uncovering  the  head  as  is  customary. 
Communion,  except  among  Catholics,  who  administer  it  to  children  before 
confirmation,  is  usually  not  taken  by  those  who  have  not  been  confirmed, 
although  in  some  Protestant  churches  the  individual  minister  may  administer 
the  sacrament  to  the  baptized  at  his  own  discretion. 

In  some  Protestant  churches  the  single  chalice  used  in  the  Communion 
service  of  the  Episcopalians  has  given  way  to  individual  cups  of  sacramental 
wine  or,  with  some  denominations,  grape  juice.  Or  it  has  become  customary 
for  those  taking  Communion  to  dip  the  wafer  in  the  cup  (intinction)  instead 
of  touching  the  chalice  to  the  lips.  There  are  other  variations  used  under 
certain  circumstances.  However,  in  many  parishes  such  modernization  of  the 
ceremony,  though  now  permitted,  is  not  really  welcomed. 

In  taking  Communion  in  a  strange  church  take  your  place  on  the  left  of 
the  rail— when  it  is  given  at  the  altar— so  you  may  observe  the  custom  of  the 
church  before  accepting  the  sacrament  or  cup  yourself.  Catholics  never  offer 
Communion  to  non-Catholics,  and  only  the  priests  partake  of  the  wine. 

What  is  the  meaning  of  the  Greek  letters  IHS  which  we  see  on  Catholic 
and  Protestant  altars  and  of  the  INRI  often  seen  especially  on  crucifixes? 
IHS  is  the  Greek  contraction  of  Jesus's  name  in  that  language.  INRI  stands 
for  Jesus  (Iesus)  Nazarenus  Rex  Iudaeorum,  Jesus  of  Nazareth,  King  of  the 
Jews,  and  is  used  only  by  Christians.  The  sign  of  the  fish  stands  for  Jesus, 
too,  for  the  letters  of  the  word  in  Greek  for  fish,  ichthys,  are  the  same  as 
those  in  the  Latin  phrase  for  "Jesus  Christ  Son  of  God  the  Saviour." 

On  their  confirmation  day,  the  day  which  for  many  is  the  day  they  join 
248 


PART   TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

the  church,  you  will  see  little  girls  of  eleven  or  twelve  walking  to  or  from 
Catholic,  Greek  Catholic,  and  some  Episcopal  churches  all  in  white,  wearing 
miniature  wedding  veils  and  carrying  flowers.  On  the  Jewish  boy's  bar 
mitzvah,  his  confirmation  day,  you  see  him  dressed  as  soberly  as  the 
Christian  boy  who  goes  to  his  confirmation  at  about  the  same  age.  His  sister 
in  the  Conservative  temple  may  have  her  bas  mitzvah,  for  which  she,  too, 
dresses  in  white,  although  she  is  not  veiled.  The  basic  idea  for  all  is  the  same, 
the  admission  of  the  child  to  the  church  or  temple  after  a  period  of  special 
preparation  for  the  ceremony,  a  marking  of  a  certain  spiritual  maturity  and 
acceptability  to  the  elders. 

In  some  parts  of  our  country  the  largest  minority  consists  of  Orientals. 
Many  are  Christians,  both  Catholic  and  Protestant,  especially  among  the 
Filipinos  and  Chinese.  Japanese  conversion  is  still  fairly  rare. 

One  of  the  important  things  the  Jews  gave  to  many  religions,  including 
the  Christian,  is  the  Sabbath.  Before  the  Mosaic  law  (that  man  should  work 
six  days  and  rest  the  seventh,  the  Sabbath)  was  handed  down,  men  and 
women  of  the  world  then  worked  from  daylight  to  darkness  without  having 
a  specific  day  of  rest.  In  fact,  the  expected  thing  was  that  they  work  a  full 
seven  days.  The  Sabbath,  set  aside  for  physical  and  spiritual  replenishment, 
doesn't  fall  for  all  of  us,  not  even  for  all  Christians,  on  the  Sunday  of  the 
Julian  calendar.  Seventh  Day  Adventists,  for  instance,  celebrate  it  on  Satur- 
day. In  many  places  of  the  world,  there  still  is  no  Sabbath.  Religious  worship 
may  take  place  daily  or  several  times  daily  before  household  shrines  or  in 
special  calls  to  prayer.  Work  goes  on  around  the  clock,  seven  days  of  the 
week,  and  these  peoples'  places  of  business  stay  open  even  when  they  are 
transplanted  to  predominantly  Christian  Sunday-Sabbath  communities  un- 
less local  ordinances  forbid  it. 

As  the  Christian  Sunday  is  not  the  Sabbath  of  religious  Jews,  you  will 
often  find  Jewish  businesses  in  Jewish  neighborhoods  open  on  Sunday  but 
closed  on  Saturday,  for  the  convenience  of  their  regular  customers  and  to 
permit  employees  and  business  owners  to  attend  religious  services. 

CLERICAL    DRESS 

Greek  Catholic,  Roman  Catholic,  high  church  Episcopalian  priests  and  some 
other  Protestant  ministers  wear  the  clerical  collar  and  rabat  (pronounced 
raby)  outside  of  church.  Rabbis  do  not  wear  the  clerical  collar  and  neither 
do  Christian  Science  readers.  Members  of  Catholic  and  Protestant  brother- 
hoods and  sisterhoods  wear  their  garb  at  all  times. 

Catholics,  in  general,  carry  and  display  the  crucifix.  The  simple  cross  is 
more  often  used  by  Protestants,  though  the  crucifix  is  used  in  many  Protestant 
churches.  When  the  cross  is  worn  as  jewelry,  it  is  always  the  plain  cross. 

Both  Catholic  and  Protestant  brotherhoods  and  sisterhoods  are  celibate, 
and  some  high  church  Episcopal  priests  take  vows  of  chastity.  Confession, 
too,  is  not  limited  to  the  Catholic  Church  but  takes  place  as  well  in  high 
church  Episcopalian  services. 

*49 


CHAPTER    TWENTY-NINE 

THE  NEW  CITIZEN  AND  HIS  PARTICULAR  PROBLEMS 


OUR  ATTITUDE  TOWARD  NEWCOMERS  TO  THE  U.S. 

Every  generation  has  its  immigrants.  Many  of  us  are  descendants  of  the 
Irish  who  emigrated  here  during  the  potato  famine  in  the  nineteenth  century, 
of  Italians  who  came  to  supply  our  labor  pool  or  bolster  our  artisan  class  in 
the  nineteenth  and  twentieth  centuries,  of  early  Dutch  settlers  dissatisfied 
with  opportunities  at  home  and  who  came  to  trade  and  colonize  in  New 
Amsterdam.  We  are  all,  no  matter  how  impressive  our  family  trees,  de- 
scended from  immigrants  of  one  kind  or  the  other,  if  we  are  Americans. 
Even  the  American  Indian  is  now  known  to  have  emigrated  here  from  Asia. 

Millions  of  us  are  the  children  or  grandchildren  or  great-grandchildren 
of  those  who  took  refuge  here  to  escape  political,  social  or  economic  up- 
heavals in  their  own  lands  or  who  fled  from  religious  persecution.  The 
Pilgrim  fathers,  now  so  revered  socially  as  ancestors,  were  the  first  refugees, 
fleeing  religious  persecution,  just  as  in  the  twentieth  century  refugees  from 
Hitler— Protestants,  Catholics,  and  Jews— sought  not  only  the  right  to  worship 
as  they  please  among  us  but  the  very  chance  to  stay  alive.  The  Pilgrims 
faced  the  Indians,  who,  being  here  first,  resented  any  encroachment  on  their 
hunting  grounds.  Every  new  settler  today  has  us  to  face— the  entrenched 
Americans,  who,  like  the  Indian  tribes,  forget  sometimes  that  they  came  (or 
their  grandfathers  or  great-grandfathers)  to  this  land  of  opportunity  be- 
cause, for  some  reason  or  other,  things  were  not  good  at  home.  It  is  only 
natural  for  every  man  to  regard  the  stranger,  the  possible  economic  en- 
croacher,  with  a  wary  eye.  But  we  need  to  remember  our  own  sources  and 
realize  that  the  vigor  and  progress  of  the  country  is  stimulated  by  each  such 
influx  of  new  Americans,  who  bring  with  them  talents,  trades,  ambition,  and 
even  wealth  America  can  use. 

Let's  examine  some  of  our  attitudes  toward  refugees  in  our  century. 

One  hears  the  criticism  "Why  do  they  all  have  to  live  in  one  neighborhood 
—all  the  Italians,  all  the  Poles,  the  Scandinavians,  all  the  French,  the  Ger- 
mans, the  Jews  in  tight  little  settlements?"  The  answer  is  that  our  ancestors, 
even  if  they  came  here  at  the  time  of  the  founding  of  our  country,  tended  to 
do  the  same  thing— for  reasons  of  solidarity.  The  melting  pot  that  is  America 
doesn't  immediately  gobble  up  the  new  citizen.  Any  American  who  was 
born  abroad  must,  of  necessity,  have  mixed  feelings  about  his  new  homeland. 
250 


FART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

The  old  living  patterns,  morals,  social  habits,  and  language  are  all  part  of 
him,  and  it  is  his  children  or  perhaps  his  grandchildren  who  will  first  have 
the  feeling  of  being  uncomplicatedly  "real  Americans."  Even  after  genera- 
tions of  assimilation  there  tends  to  be  this  gathering  together  of  Americans 
with  like  backgrounds— the  Irish  in  Boston,  the  Germans  in  St.  Louis,  Mil- 
waukee, and  Chicago,  the  Italians  and  Jews  and  dozens  of  other  ethnic 
groups  in  New  York,  the  Scandinavians  in  the  Midwest,  the  Pennsylvania 
"Dutch,"  (really  German)  in  Pennsylvania.  Newcomers,  quite  understand- 
ably, gravitate  toward  these  centers,  where  they  can  hear  their  own  lan- 
guage, eat  their  own  food,  go  to  their  own  houses  of  worship,  and  receive 
assistance  in  their  adjustment  to  a  new  and  strange— and  often  unfriendly- 
land. 

It  is  true  that  the  young  do  move  out  and  into  other  circles,  through 
marriage  or  business  opportunities,  but  it  is  human  and  understandable  that 
the  older  and  less  adventurous  often  prefer  to  make  their  way  in  a  more 
familiar  atmosphere. 

We  should  all  remember  that,  no  matter  how  American  we  are  now,  our 
ancestors,  even  if  they  were  English  speaking,  had  their  own  problems  of 
adjustment  here  too— physical,  social,  and  economic.  Even  well-bred  English 
who  settle  here  today  feel  our  hostility  or  experience  our  ridicule  of  their 
manners  and  customs— as  any  English-born  bride  of  an  American  can  tell 
you.  So  it  isn't  language  that  is  the  principal  difficulty  at  all.  It  is  just  the 
perversity  of  human  nature.  We  all  hate  to  move  over,  as  others  had  to 
move  over  for  us. 


WHAT  DO  THEY  THINK  OF  US? 

All  our  new  citizens  or  citizens-to-be  have  their  own  opinions  of  us,  col- 
lectively as  well  as  individually,  and  some  of  them  quite  unflattering.  We 
are  said  by  some  Europeans  to  be  noisy— which  some  of  us  are— scream- 
eaglish,  that  is,  insular  in  our  point  of  view,  unsophisticated,  often  vulgar, 
and,  worst  of  all,  lacking  in  culture  and  inherent  good  taste. 

These  things  so  often  said  of  us  by  foreigners  are  to  some  degree  true, 
but  not  all  so  reprehensible  as  some  of  us  in  our  indignation  may  feel.  We 
are  a  very  young  country  in  the  eyes  of  older,  wearier  civilizations— hence 
our  frequent  naivete.  We  Americans  are  in  the  process  of  developing  a 
culture  of  our  own,  and  some  of  it  we  have  adopted  from  all  the  peoples 
who  have  come  to  make  up  our  country.  Our  language,  taken  from  the 
English  majority  among  our  settlers,  is  in  many  ways  quite  different  from 
the  English  of  England,  because  it  has  been  influenced  by  the  melting  pot. 
Our  music,  our  art,  our  literature  are  all  trending  toward  a  recognizable 
American  culture.  The  fact  that  we  are  young  and  learning— and  yearning- 
should  not  be  held  against  us.  But  we,  in  turn,  should  not  feel  superior  to  the 
older,  established  cultures  and  rich  traditions,  understanding  and  apprecia- 
tion of  which  can  make  our  own  lives  immeasurably  more  interesting. 

251 


DIFFERENCES    IN    MANNERS 

tucking-in  the  dinner  napkin  In  this  country  the  napkin  is  never  rucked  in 
at  the  collar  or  in  the  vest,  but  must  be  put  in  the  lap  and  opened  lengthwise 
so  that  it  is  folded  double  across  the  knees.  As  it  is  used  throughout  the 
meal  to  dab  the  mouth,  the  napkin  does  come  out  of  its  fold  but  it  should 
not  be  shaken  out  that  way  at  the  start  of  the  meal  (as  you  sometimes  see 
waiters  do).  At  the  end  of  the  meal  or  if,  for  any  reason,  you  must  leave  the 
table  during  the  meal,  place  the  used  napkin  casually,  not  refolded,  to  the 
left  of  your  fork.  Little  children  may  have  their  napkins  tucked-in  to  save 
their  clothes,  however. 

silverware  The  placing  of  silverware  on  the  table  here  is  quite  different  from 
the  placement  in  Europe  (see  "Table  Setting").  The  dinner  knife  is  always 
on  the  right  side  of  the  plate,  and  the  necessary  forks  are  on  the  left,  with 
the  one  to  be  used  first  at  the  far  left.  If  an  oyster  fork  is  used,  however,  it 
often  appears  on  the  knife  side.  When  your  dinner  plate  is  to  be  removed 
either  for  a  second  helping  (when  the  host  carves  at  the  table)  or  to  go  to 
the  kitchen,  place  the  fork  and  knife  you've  been  using  side  by  side  on  the 
right  side  of  your  plate  with  the  blade  of  the  knife  facing  in  and  with  the 
prongs  of  the  fork  up.  The  knife  should  be  placed  on  the  right  of  the  used 
fork. 

THE  AMERICAN  AND  CONTINENTAL  USE  OF  KNIFE  AND  FORK      I  See  no  real  reason 

why  a  person  who  all  his  life  has  employed  the  Continental  style  in  using  his 
fork  and  knife  should  change  to  the  American,  unless  he  feels  needlessly  self- 
conscious  about  the  difference  when  he's  eating  with  Americans.  Here,  the 
knife  is  used  for  cutting  and  is  never  used  to  pile  food  on  the  back  of  a  fork 
which  then,  European  style,  is  conveyed  to  the  mouth  upside  down  and  with 
the  left  hand.  In  America  the  fork  is  mostly  used  in  the  right  hand,  so  that  it 
corners  the  food  by  itself  with  little  or  no  help  from  the  knife,  whose  function 
ceases  after  it's  cut  the  meat  (and  here  potatoes  may  be  cut,  too).  A  bit  of 
bread  may  be  used  to  coax  the  food  onto  the  fork  or  to  blot  up  gravy  (but 
then  the  gravy-soaked  bread  must  be  conveyed  to  the  mouth  by  the  fork). 
The  knife  may  be  used  to  steer  food  onto  the  front  of  the  fork  but,  if  you  are 
eating  American  style,  never  convey  the  fork  to  the  mouth  upside  down  with 
food  packed  on  the  back,  though  you  may  use  the  fork  this  way  with  a 
manageable  mouthful,  say,  of  waffle,  impaled  on  the  prongs.  The  knife 
must  be  left,  preferably  blade  in,  on  the  right  side  of  your  plate  when  you 
are  not  actually  using  it. 

the  use  of  the  toothpick  In  Europe  if  a  bit  of  food  catches  in  one's  teeth 
at  dinner  it  is  quite  proper  to  remove  it  adroitly  with  a  toothpick,  using  a 
table  napkin  as  a  screen.  In  America,  however,  one  suffers.  If  you  can't 
dislodge  the  offending  bit  with  your  tongue  (and  even  such  maneuvers  must 
be  unnoticed  by  the  assemblage),  leave  it  there  until  you  can  remove  it  in 
privacy.   If  something  desperate  happens— such  as   a  bit  of  oyster  she1] 

252 


PART  TWO      DRESS  AND  MANNERS 

threatening  to  puncture  your  gum— excuse  yourself  quietly  from  the  table 
and  make  no  report  on  your  excavations  when  you  return.  The  well- 
mannered  person  never  inquires,  even  by  the  lift  of  an  eyebrow,  as  to  why 
someone  else  has  left  the  table. 

"thank  you"  Many  who  come  here  knowing  some  English  have  learned 
it  from  English  governesses,  tutors,  or  instructors.  They  may  never  become 
conscious  of  many  little  Americanisms,  ignorance  of  which  can  cause  some 
social  confusion.  In  America  when  you  are  asked,  either  at  table  or  else- 
where, if  you  want  something  and  you  say  "Thank  you,"  this  means  you 
do  want  what  is  offered.  In  England  it  means  the  opposite.  Here  it  is  expected 
that  you  will  say  "Yes,"  or  "No,  thank  you."  A  shake  of  the  head  is  all  that 
is  necessary  if  you  are  offered  something  you  do  not  wish  by  a  servant  at 
table  although  you  may  say,  "No,  thank  you"  to  him  or  her  quite  properly. 

acknowledging  a  compliment  Americans  often  disconcert  the  foreign-born 
by  exclaiming,  "Thank  you!"  when  given  a  graceful  compliment.  This  is  an 
Americanism,  of  course,  and  the  Continental  manner  of  acknowledging  a 
compliment— a  gentle,  protesting  smile— is  quite  acceptable  here. 

introductions  and  salutations  In  English  the  wife  of  a  man  bearing  a  doc- 
torate does  not  receive  his  title  as  she  does  in  some  other  languages.  She  is 
merely  Mrs.  So  and  So,  not  Mrs.  Dr.  So  and  So.  This  applies  to  letters 
addressed  to  her,  as  well  as  to  oral  address.  If  in  introducing  her  you  wish 
to  indicate  that  Mrs.  So  and  So  is  the  wife  of  a  doctor,  you  say  so.  "May  I 
present"  (if  you  are  introducing  her  to  another  woman  older  than  herself 
or  of  her  own  age  and  social  status)  "Mrs.  So  and  So.  Her  husband,  as  you 
may  know,  is  Dr.  John  So  and  So."  For  further  information  on  introductions, 
see  "Dress  and  Manners." 

who  is  "doctor"?  Europeans,  by  the  way,  tend  to  use  doctorates,  socially, 
more  freely  than  we  do.  In  America  we  commonly  address  as  "Doctor"  only 
persons  holding  the  following  degrees:  M.D.  (Doctor  of  Medicine),  D.D.S. 
(Doctor  of  Dental  Surgery),  D.D.  (Doctor  of  Divinity),  and,  optionally, 
Ph.D.  (Doctor  of  Philosophy),  and  Sc.D.  (Doctor  of  Science).  The  latter 
doctorates,  along  with  LL.D.  (Doctor  of  Laws),  are  more  likely  to  be 
courtesy  rather  than  professional  titles,  to  be  used  socially  or  not  as  the 
holder  prefers.  Veterinaries,  chiropodists,  and  chiropractors  (in  some  states) 
who  actually  hold  professional  degrees  use  the  title  "Dr."  both  socially 
and  professionally. 

using  the  phone  The  Continental  is  frequently  puzzled  about  the  accepted 
way  of  using  the  phone  in  English— just  as  the  American  is  often  struck 
dumb  if  he  must  cope  with  a  foreign  operator  or  try  to  make  himself  under- 
stood in  another  language  by  means  of  the  phone  alone.  When  the  phone 
rings,  pick  it  up  and  say  "hello."  It  is  not  necessary  to  announce  your  own 
name  to  the  person  calling.  If  you  are  calling  someone  else  you  do,  of  course, 
announce  yourself  by  saying  "This  is  Mr.  Paris"  or,  if  you  feel  a  need  tc 

253 


identify  yourself  more  clearly,  "This  is  Jacques  Paris  speaking,"  not  "Here  is, 
etc.,"  European  style.  Give  your  whole  name  without  "Mr.,  Mrs.,  or  Miss"  if 
the  person  you  are  calling  answers  himself  and  is  your  social  equal.  You  do 
this  even  when  you  do  not  use  each  other's  first  names  in  conversation.  If 
a  servant  answers  you  say,  "Mr.  So  and  So  is  calling,"  giving  your  first  name, 
too,  only  if  your  last  name  is  rather  common— a  woman  would  say,  for 
instance,  "Mrs.  John  Jones  calling."  With  other  than  a  common  name  she 
says,  "Mrs.  De  Paris  calling"  or,  if  someone  other  than  a  servant  or  secretary 
or  child  answers,  "Norma  De  Paris  calling." 

The  older,  British  form  of  telephone  greeting  between  men— "Black  of 
the  National  Bank  calling"— is  not  so  frequently  heard.  To  a  man  client 
such  a  man  would  announce  himself  as  "George  Black." 

If  you  give  a  number  to  the  operator  orally  a  zero  is  pronounced  "o."  If 
you  are  spelling  a  word  or  name  the  "z"  is  pronounced  "zee"  in  America, 
not  "zed"  as  in  England. 

greetings  Don't  translate  your  reply  to  the  polite  greeting,  "How  are  you?" 
into  "Fine,  how's  yourself?"  Instead  you  should  say,  "How  are  you?"— 
answering  the  question  with  a  question,  as  the  whole  greeting  is  a  formality 
anyhow,  or  you  may  reply,  "Fine,  and  how  are  you?"  or  "Very  well,  thank 
you— and  you?" 

the  use  of  "lady"  and  "gentleman"  In  conversation  we  do  not  refer  to  a 
woman  of  our  own  social  status  as  a  "lady"  or  to  a  man  as  a  "gentleman." 
Don't  say,  "I  went  next  door  to  see  the  lady  who  lives  there."  Say,  "I  went 
next  door  to  visit  Mrs.  Brown."  You  might  add  that  she  is  a  "charming 
woman"  or  that  someone  else  is  a  "nice  girl."  Somehow  the  term  "young 
lady"  doesn't  fall  into  the  same  servile  classification  as  does  that  of  "lady." 
In  speaking  of  a  male  friend  it  is  preferable  to  say  that  he  is  a  "fine  man" 
rather  than  that  he  is  a  "fine  gentleman,"  as  the  latter  phrase  places  you  a 
step  below  him  socially.  Again,  however,  the  use  of  the  adjective  "old"  or 
"young"  furbishes  the  word.  You  might  refer  to  a  "fine  old  gentleman"  or  a 
"gay  young  gentleman"  and  still  indicate  that  they  are  of  your  own  circle. 
A  child,  however,  in  referring  to  a  grown-up  says,  for  instance,  "Mommy, 
may  I  offer  the  candy  to  this  gentleman?"  or  "Does  the  lady  always  carry 
her  doggie  with  her?"  When  a  child  knows  the  names  of  his  parents'  friends 
he  should  refer  to  them  as  Mrs.  or  Mr.  So  and  So,  if  old  enough  to  master 
surnames.  I  know  a  little  boy  of  four  who,  if  he  forgets  your  name,  refers 
to  you  simply  as  Mr.  or  Mrs.  "Somebody."  Very  young  children  in  America 
are  often  permitted  to  call  their  parents'  intimate  friends  by  the  names  they 
hear  their  parents  use— "Joe"  or  "Mary"— because  we  may  never  use  "Mrs.," 
"Mr.,"  or  "Miss"  alone  without  the  surname  as  one  does  so  simply  in  foreign 
languages.  As  children  grow  older  they  tend  to  decide  for  themselves  where 
such  intimacy  is  unwelcome  and  where  it  is  preferred.  To  insist  that  a 
child  call  older  people  who  are  familiars  of  a  household  "Aunt"  or  "Uncle," 
when  there  is  no  reason  for  such  a  title,  seems  foolish  and  often  irks  the 
child. 

254 


PART  TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 


CHANGING    YOUR    NAME 

What  justification  is  there  for  changing  your  name?  If  you  are  handicapped 
with  a  name  that  is  almost  impossible  for  English-speaking  people  to  pro- 
nounce or  spell— some  of  the  Russian,  Polish,  or  Slavic  names  are  good 
examples— or  are  the  possessor  of  a  name  that  may  leave  you  open  to 
possible  ridicule  because  of  its  association  (Schicklgruber)  or  its  connotation 
in  English,  you  may  do  well  to  change  it.  Beware  however  of  picking  a 
surname  at  random  only  because  its  first  letter  is  the  same  as  that  of  your 
own.  A  man  with  a  strong  accent  and  the  pleasant  Italian  name  of  Guglieri, 
who  wearies  of  the  way  Americans  mangle  it,  makes  a  mistake  if  he  hits 
on— to  be  a  little  far-fetched— Gallagher,  a  typical  Irish  name.  The  combina- 
tion of  an  Italian  accent  and  an  Irish  name  might  make  him  the  butt  of 
many  jokes. 

Wherever  possible  simplify  your  name  (the  Welsh  name  I  jams  to  lams  is 
a  good  example)  if  need  be,  rather  than  choose  a  totally  new  name.  Opera 
star  Rise  Stevens's  Vienna-born  husband  did  it  nicely  when  he  simplified  his 
name,  Szurovy  to  Surovy,  easily  spellable  for  us.  Such  a  change  permits  you 
to  keep  your  own  identity,  too.  Try  to  have  your  name  match  your  back- 
ground. It  should  not  be  too  obvious  that  your  name  has  been  changed,  if 
it's  to  fit  you  comfortably.  If  you  go  too  far  afield  in  your  selection  of  a 
name  people  will  have  trouble  associating  you  with  it.  If  a  man  named 
Otto  Schmeller,  to  choose  a  Germanic  name  at  random,  settles  on  Arthur 
Washington  when  everything  about  him  is  Germanic,  including  his  accent 
and  appearance,  he  will  find  his  new  name  more  of  a  handicap  than  he 
thought  his  original  name  to  be. 

who  can  help  with  your  name?  First,  don't  change  your  name  just  to  become 
Americanized  or  because  the  naturalization  clerk  suggests  some  banal  name 
or  names  to  you  which  you  seize  on  without  careful  consideration.  A  name  is 
important.  If  you  change  yours,  get  help  in  choosing  one  that  fits.  Don't  be 
afraid  to  keep  the  name  you  were  born  with,  even  though  it  is  a  little 
difficult,  if  you  like  it.  You  may  come  from  a  distinguished  family  abroad 
and,  in  your  heart,  want  to  remain  identified  with  it.  America  is  peopled  with 
men  and  women  who  bear  other  than  Nordic  names.  I'd  rather  have  a 
difficult  name  any  day  which,  once  mastered,  is  not  easily  forgotten,  than  one 
so  common  it  has  no  distinction  at  all. 

If,  after  talking  the  matter  over  with  your  friends  and  family,  you  decide 
to  change  your  name,  discuss  it  further  with  a  librarian,  a  genealogist,  or 
an  English  teacher,  so  you  will  find  the  name  that  suits  you  best.  Try 
wherever  possible  to  keep  your  original  first  name.  If  your  friends  call  you 
Hans  or  Rudolph  or  Jean,  it  will  be  confusing  if  your  new  legal  name  is 
anglicized  to  John,  Ralph  (let  us  say),  or  James,  and  when  you  bring  old 
friends  together  with  new  ones,  or  with  business  acquaintances,  there  will 
always  be  the  impression  of  duality.  When  you  change  your  name,  ii  you  do, 
it  should  be  used  socially  as  well  as  in  business. 

255 


how  do  you  announce  a  change  of  name?  When  people  change  their  names 
by  legal  means  there  need  be  no  more  confusion  about  it  than  there  is  when 
a  woman  changes  her  name  to  that  of  her  husband.  A  formal  announcement 
may  be  sent  to  friends  and  business  associates  to  simplify  matters,  or  you 
may  let  everyone  know  informally  by  letter,  as  the  occasion  arises,  or  casu- 
ally in  conversation.  A  formal  announcement  reads  like  this: 

Mr.  Casimir  Wojciechowski 

announces  that  by  permission  of  the  court 

he  has  changed  his  name  to 

Cass  Wiecks 

A  graceful  announcement  of  the  change  may  be  made  in  a  way  that 

includes  the  juniors  of  the  family,  too.  It  is  not,  by  the  way,  necessary  to 

secure  a  court  order  to  change  your  name,  so  long  as  you  can,  if  challenged, 

•    prove  you  had  no  intent  to  defraud.  A  family  adopting  a  new  name  may  do 

so  this  way: 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Ulrich  Uhrmachermeister 

Miss  Gerda  Uhrmachermeister 

and  Master  Karl  Uhrmachermeister 

wish  to  inform  you  that  they  have  adopted  the  surname  of 

Urman 

If  first  names  have  been  changed  you  should  list  all  the  changes  so  the 
announcement  reads: 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Ulrich  Uhrmachermeister 

Miss  Gerda  Uhrmachermeister 

and  Master  Karl  Uhrmachermeister 

wish  to  inform  you  that  they  have  adopted  the  names  of 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Richard  Urman 

Miss  Gertrude  Urman 

and  Master  Charles  Urman 

The  phrase  "wish  to  inform  you  that  by  order  of  the  court  they  (or  he) 
will  be  known  as"  is  also  used. 

Simple  white  cards  are  engraved  with  or  without  plate  marking  in  black 
script  or  in  any  of  the  restrained  English-style  types.  Where  a  very  small 
list  makes  engraving  of  the  cards  extravagant,  you  may  choose  to  have  them 
printed,  but  the  formal  style  should  be  the  same.  It's  a  serious  matter  to 
change  one's  name,  and  the  procedure  should  be  treated  with  due  dignity. 

If  no  such  formal  announcement  is  made,  seasonal  greeting  cards,  if 
usually  sent,  could  be  signed  "the  Urmans  (formerly  the  Uhrmacher- 
meisters),"  but  here  again  dignity  should  be  the  objective. 

256 


PART   TWO      DRESS   AND   MANNERS 


THE    NEW    CITIZEN    AND    THE    ENGLISH    LANGUAGE 

The  new  citizen  has  at  least  a  beginning  understanding  of  his  new  language. 
It  is  more  than  courtesy  to  his  adopted  country  that  impels  him  to  continue 
to  study  it  carefully,  even  after  his  papers  have  been  granted  to  him.  If 
he  is  satisfied  with  a  small  vocabulary  and  a  few  idioms,  or  if,  after  many 
years  in  the  country,  he  continues  to  translate  his  own  language  literally  into 
English,  he  will  continue  to  be  considered  a  "foreigner"  despite  his  American 
citizenship.  He  will  have  difficulty  expressing  his  ideas  fully  in  his  business 
or  profession.  His  children  may  feel  some  embarrassment  at  his  unfamiliarity 
with  English. 

Many  foreign  born  who  become  American  citizens  may  find  it  impossible 
to  lose  an  accent— a  matter  of  little  importance,  I  think,  for  foreign  accents  in 
English  can  be  very  attractive.  It  is  the  very  rare  American  remember  who 
learns  to  speak  another  language  without  accent.  While  there  are  methods 
of  "de-accenting"  the  foreign  born,  it  is  not  the  accent  itself  that  is  of  con- 
cern but  the  ability  to  make  oneself  understood  and  even  to  achieve  real 
fluency  in  the  language  by  thinking  in  it. 

If  you,  as  a  new  American,  speak  as  much  English  as  possible  even  with 
business  associates  of  your  own  original  nationality,  you  will  find  that  you 
do  begin  to  think  in  English  and  can  express  yourself  readily.  If,  however, 
your  social  life  is  spent  largely  with  those  of  your  own  original  nationality, 
something  quite  natural  because  of  a  community  of  interests,  you  may  for 
years  make  the  same  errors  as  they  do  in  speaking  English.  You  may  also 
lose  the  ability  to  hear  the  important  differences  when  you  speak  with 
native-born  Americans— presupposing,  of  course,  that  they  speak  correctly 
themselves. 

foreign  words  in  English  It  isn't  easy  to  know  what  foreign  words  have 
become  anglicized  and  which  have  not  except  by  listening  to  the  pronuncia- 
tion of  cultured  people.  Even  here  it  is  possible  to  become  confused,  for  in 
England  the  French  word  "garage"  has  gone  native  and  becomes  the  ugly 
"ga-rahge,"  with  accent  on  first  syllable.  "Hors  d'oeuvres"  is  pronounced  in 
the  French  way.  "Valet"  is  preferably  pronounced  as  it  is  spelled,  although 
in  the  Middle  West  if  you  phone  for  valet  service  in  a  hotel  the  operator  will 
probably  correct  you— "Valla  service?"  she  will  query.  But  you  may  right- 
fully stick  to  your  pronunciation,  backed  by  even  the  Oxford  Dictionary, 
which,  by  the  way,  can  sometimes  lead  you  sadly  astray  on  American  pro- 
nunciation. "Chauffeur"  becomes  "shofer,"  losing  its  French  twist  somewhat, 
while  "aide-de-camp"  is  pronounced  as  if  the  words  were  English.  "Buffet" 
is  pronounced  as  the  French  meant  it  to  be  and  is  never  anglicized. 

writing  letters  When  you  write  a  letter  and  use  the  form  of  address  "My 
dear  So  and  So,"  you  are,  strange  to  relate,  using  the  more  formal  not  the  less 
formal  term.  In  writing  to  intimates  say,  "Dear  So  and  So,"  not  "My  dear." 

257 


In  speaking,  too,  if  you  say  "My  dear  John,"  or  "My  dear  fellow,  would  you 
pass  me  the  salt,"  you  are  being  patronizing  rather  than  affectionate. 

If  you  are  writing  to  someone  very  intimate  you  close  your  letters  with 
something  less  formal  than  "Cordially."  You  say  "Yours,"  "With  love," 
"Love,"  "Affectionately,"  "As  ever,"  "Always,"  or  some  other  phrase  to 
indicate  your  closeness. 


25b 


3 


HOME  ENTERTAINING 

Informal  Entertaining  261 

Formal  Entertaining  271 

The  Guest  at  Formal  Meals  283 

The  Ritual  of  Drinking  286 

Entertaining  Indoors  2Q3 

Entertaining  Out  of  Doors  2q8 

Hosts  and  Guests  300 


HOME  ENTERTAINING 


An  Albanian  proverb  goes,  "Every  guest  hates  the  others,  and  the  host  hates 
them  all."  Too  much  entertaining  is  exactly  like  that,  with  no  fun  intended. 

It  is  a  good  thing  for  a  family  to  set  aside  its  home  for  itself  and  its 
friends.  When  guests  are  invited  to  break  bread  for  other  than  purely 
friendly  reasons  the  entertainment  is  too  often  a  failure,  unless  it  so  happens 
that  such  business  acquaintances  turn  out  to  be  congenial.  A  good  rule  to 
follow  is:  dont  try  to  do  business  over  your  own  dinner  table. 

So  entertaining  at  home  should  have  no  strings  attached.  Occasionally 
we  all  accept  invitations  we  prefer  not  to  accept  and  thus  incur  a  social 
obligation  we  must  repay  in  kind.  The  successful  hostess  never  includes  too 
many  new  or  difficult  guests  at  what  should  be  an  intimate  little  dinner. 
Eight  people  who  never  saw  or  heard  of  each  other  before— and  hope  never 
to  see  or  hear  of  each  other  again— can  do  social  violence  to  the  most  ade- 
quately planned  evening. 

If  host  and  hostess  themselves  can,  through  the  careful  selection  of  their 
guests  and  through  sufficient  advance  preparation,  look  forward  with  pleasure 
to  an  evening  or  a  week  end,  then  the  party  is  virtually  assured  of  success. 
Whether  trained  servants  present  platters  of  peacocks'  tongues  or  the  hostess 
herself  dishes  up  a  good  spaghetti  dinner  is  quite  immaterial.  If  the  house 
looks  as  if  it  expected  and  welcomed  guests,  if  the  host  and  hostess  are 
relaxed  and  smiling,  the  guests  will  feel  at  home  and  at  ease,  no  matter 
what  superficial  accouterments  of  entertaining  may  be  missing  through 
necessity  or  design. 

Entertain  and  enjoy  it! 


260 


PART  THREE      HOME  ENTERTAINING 


CHAPTER    THIRTY 

INFORMAL  ENTERTAINING 

THE    COMPANY    OR    SEMI-FORMAL    DINNER    PARTY 

The  truly  formal  dinner  in  all  its  stiff  elegance  is  not  what  the  average 
American  thinks  of  as  formal  dinner.  What  we  encounter  most  in  the  wa) 
of  special  entertaining  is  the  semiformal  or  company  dinner  for  which  the 
household  puts  its  best  face  forward.  This  is  the  seated  dinner  of  four  to 
eight  guests  (who  may  or  may  not  be  in  evening  dress)  or  even  more, 
depending  on  the  dining  room's  ability  to  contain  them  all  comfortably. 
Entertaining  at  home  of  more  than  eight  at  dinner  usually  must  be  buffet 
style  or  at  bridge  tables,  informally. 

invitations  Invitations  to  the  company  informal  dinner  are  usually  phoned  or 
are  given  by  word  of  mouth,  and,  of  course,  may  be  extended  by  informals 
or  calling  cards  (see  Correspondence  Section).  The  hostess  always  tenders 
the  invitation.  On  occasion,  for  convenience's  sake,  her  husband  may  do  so 
in  her  name,  where  close  friends  are  concerned.  For  example,  if  he  is  a  com- 
muter and  the  friends  are  in  the  city  he  may  phone  them  for  his  wife.  He 
says,  "Mary  would  like  you  to  come  to  dinner  on  Friday  at  seven-thirty. 
Black  tie."  A  hostess  who  asks  her  men  guests  these  days  to  wear  black  tie 
in  the  suburbs  or  in  the  country,  however,  is  very  optimistic.  She  is  safer 
to  suggest  that  her  women  guests  wear  dinner  dress  and  let  the  men  come 
in  their  preferred  dark  suits,  especially  on  a  week  night. 

Invitations  to  company  dinners  are  not  lightly  treated.  The  hostess  obvi- 
ously is  going  to  considerable  trouble,  especially  if  she  has  little  or  no  help. 
Guests  should  not  disappoint  her  at  the  last  minute  without  a  believable 
excuse  such  as  illness.  Neither  should  they  ask  to  bring  another  guest,  with 
the  possible  exception  of  another  single  man  for  whom  most  hostesses  have 
need. 

arriving  guests  No  guest  should  be  allowed  to  arrive  without  greeting.  Both 
host  and  hostess  should  be  on  duty  in  the  living  room  five  minutes  or  more 
before  the  appointed  time.  When  an  invitation  is  issued  for  seven  o'clock, 

261 


guests  may  arrive  at  that  hour,  promptly,  or  up  to  ten  or  fifteen  minutes 
later.  At  a  large  dinner  party  lateness  of  as  much  as  half  an  hour  is  virtually 
expected  in  metropolitan  communities,  but  frequently  in  the  West  and  Mid- 
west when  a  dinner  invitation  is  for  seven,  guests  begin  to  arrive  at  six- 
thirty  as  it  is  assumed  that  they  are  to  be  seated  at  dinner  at  seven  or 
shortly  after. 

Once  dinner  is  announced  the  hostess  should  not  be  expected  to  wait 
more  than  a  few  more  minutes  for  late  comers,  unless  one  includes  the  guest 
of  honor,  who  ideally  should  never  be  late  but  without  whom  it  is  certainly 
peculiar  to  sit  down.  If  the  lateness  is  really  very  serious,  guest  of  honor 
or  no,  the  hostess  proceeds  with  the  dinner.  A  late-comer  enters  the  dining 
room  as  quietly  as  possible,  goes  briefly  to  the  hostess  (who  remains  seated 
so  as  not  to  disturb  the  table),  makes  an  apology,  and  sits  immediately  in  the 
indicated  place.  If  the  late  one  is  a  woman,  the  man  to  her  right  rises,  or 
semi-rises,  to  seat  her.  Any  long  explanation  of  the  reason  for  the  lateness 
is  uncalled  for  and  should  never  draw  in  the  others  at  the  table.  The  hostess, 
no  matter  how  she  really  feels  about  it,  always  minimizes  the  inconvenience 
to  her  as  well  as  to  the  other  guests.  She  says  something  such  as,  "It's  really 
quite  all  right.  I  knew  you  would  expect  us  to  go  right  ahead." 

entering  the  dining  room  Where  dinner  partners  have  not  been  assigned  by 
card  (see  "Formal  Dinner"  for  example  of  place  card)  the  hostess,  when  the 
meal  has  been  announced,  usually  leads  her  women  guests  into  the  dining 
room  with  the  men  following,  the  host  bringing  up  the  rear.  The  men  step 
forward  and  hold  the  chairs  as  the  hostess  indicates  where  each  lady  is  to 
sit— with  the  woman  guest  of  honor  placed  to  the  host's  right  and  the  male 
guest  of  honor  placed  to  the  hostess's  right.  At  a  cue  from  the  hostess  the 
men  then  seat  themselves.  For  parties  of  more  than  eight,  place  cards  sim- 
plify this  little  procedure.  Even  at  a  smaller  party  cards  should  be  used  if 
the  hostess  is  likely  to  become  flustered  or  forgetful  of  names— she  must  never 
resort  to  a  little  memorandum  at  her  own  place,  as  did  one  nervous  hostess 
I  knew.  For  seating  at  the  semiformal  dinner,  see  "Seating  at  the  Formal 
Dinner." 

THE  MENU  FOR  THE  COMPANY  OR  SEMIFORMAL  DINNER  PARTY  The  Season,  natu- 
rally, must  be  considered  in  planning  dinner  for  guests.  Availability  of 
produce  and  meats,  too,  is  a  factor,  as  is  the  seasonableness  of  the  weather. 
Foods  with  rich  sauces  are  less  appetizing  in  hot  weather.  In  winter  a  main 
dish  en  gelee  would  seem  unsubstantial. 

One  of  my  favorite  cookbooks,  "Thoughts  for  Food"  (Institute  Publishing 
Company,  Chicago),  gives  complete  menus  for  each  meal  with  accompany- 
ing recipes.  The  recipes  for  Informal  Dinners  as  compared  with  those  for 
Family  Dinners  show  the  degree  of  difference  in  the  choice  of  food.  A 
Family  Dinner  might  have  paprika  schnitzel  with  noodles  as  a  main  course. 
One  of  the  book's  suggested  Informal  Dinner  menus  for  guests  is  as  follows: 
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PART   THREE      HOME  ENTERTAINING 

Avocado  Cocktail 

Chicken  Valenciennes  Asparagus  Polonaise 

Grape  Compote 

Chocolate  Profiterolles 

A  formal  dinner  always  has  a  soup  course,  always  fish  or  seafood  (which 
may  come  first,  as  in  oysters  a  la  Rockefeller),  always  hot  meat  with  vege- 
tables as  the  main  dish,  a  salad,  dessert,  little  cakes  (petits  fours),  and 
demitasses  served  in  the  living  room.  Each  course  is  served  separately.  The 
informal  dinner  is  not  so  complicated  and  consists  of  an  entree  of  some 
kind,  which  may  be  hot  or  cold  soup  and  which  may  be  served  in  a  handled 
cup,  pottery  bowl,  or  cream  soup  bowl,  whereas  at  a  formal  dinner,  soup 
is  always  in  a  flat  soup  dish.  The  main  course  may  be  fish  instead  of  meat, 
since  usually  not  both  are  served.  Second  helpings  are  often  offered.  At 
formal  meals  they  never  are.  Salad  may  well  be  served  at  the  same  time  as 
the  main  dish  rather  than  as  a  separate  course.  There  is  dessert,  and  "after- 
dinner"  coffee  is  often  served  at  the  table  with  dessert  or  just  following  it 
and  is  usually  poured  by  the  hostess  (who  adds  sugar  and  cream  for  those 
who  wish  it)  and  passed  around,  though  it  may  be  poured  in  the  kitchen  if 
there  is  a  waitress  and  passed  on  a  tray  with  cream  and  sugar. 

the  table  A  damask  cloth  may  be  used  for  an  informal  dinner,  but  place  mats 
are  becoming  more  usual.  Candles  are  on  the  table  and  may  be  colored, 
rather  than  the  white  of  the  formal  table.  There  is  a  centerpiece  (which,  if 
the  table  is  against  the  wall,  is  centered  against  it  rather  than  in  the 
middle  of  the  table),  and  it  may  consist  of  flowers,  greenery,  or  a  ceramic  of 
some  kind.  A  small  table  may  have  to  dispense  with  a  centerpiece  entirely 
and  use  its  main  serving  dishes— a  lovely  tureen,  a  handsome  casserole— as 
focal  points  of  interest. 

The  old  idea  of  white  cloth  and  white  napkins,  matching  fine  china,  clear 
matching  crystal  kept  solely  for  "company,"  made  for  monotony.  Hostesses 
who  made  a  fetish  of  such  things  often  had  set  company  dinners,  too,  devoid 
of  imagination  and  deadly  dull.  Actually  there  is  considerable  precedence 
for  gay  dining  cloths.  Those  of  the  early  Saxons  were  bright  crimson,  gold- 
fringed. 

At  today's  informal  or  semiformal  dinner  the  guests  may  sit  down  at  a 
bare,  gleaming  table,  on  occasion.  Napkins  may  be  almost  any  color,  almost 
any  material.  Thick  pottery  mugs  may  be  used  for  the  summer  iced  tea,  or 
frosty  beer  may  come  on  in  beer  glasses,  tankards,  or  steins.  The  dishes,  the 
glassware,  and  the  table  covering  if  any,  are  more  likely  to  be  geared  to 
the  choice  of  food  than  to  the  fact  that  this  is  a  company  dinner. 

Imagine  the  visual  effect  of  cold  boiled  scarlet  lobsters  in  a  big  wooden 
mixing  bowl  in  the  center  of  a  round  table  covered  with  fringed  woods-green 
cloth.  Think  of  the  mayonnaise  in  yellow  and  turquoise  majolica,  the  chablis 
in  chunky  clear  glass,  the  napkins  big,  lobster-printed  paperlike  cotton  bibs. 
The  salad,  of  course,  is  served  in  individual  wooden  bowls,  and  the  dessert  is 

263 


chilled  mixed  fruit— whole  red  cherries,  rosy  pears,  purple  plums,  crackling 
apples  on  a  bed  of  crushed  ice.  Such  a  dinner  is  a  far  cry  from  grand- 
mother's hushed  Victorian  party  meals.  And  a  lot  more  fun  for  everyone. 


DINNER    WITH    ONE    MAID 

Pretension  is  so  very  uncomfortable.  If  a  family  has  just  one  servant  it  is 
foolish  to  try  to  turn  her  into  cook-waitress-nurse  and  lady's  maid.  Rarely 
these  days  do  servants  stay  on  one  job  the  years  it  requires  to  function  flaw- 
lessly at  it.  Pretrained  servants  coming  on  to  a  job  are  equally  hard  to  find. 
The  best  thing  in  a  one-servant  household  is  for  the  mistress  to  face  the 
fact  that  she  cannot  expect  too  much. 

Entertaining  causes  extra  work.  Unless  she  is  willing  and  able  herself  to 
take  on  some  of  the  extras— such  as  making  the  butterballs  and  canapes, 
preparing  the  dessert,  getting  out  the  extra  glassware,  dishes,  and  silver 
and  cleaning  it,  if  necessary  (special  pieces  can  be  sealed  away  in  pliofilm, 
by  the  way,  to  appear  bright  as  new  for  parties),  a  hostess  is  expecting  too 
much  of  one  maid,  except,  of  course,  when  the  family  is  small  and  adult.  But 
there  is  still  the  usual  routine  of  the  household  before  party  preparations 
can  begin.  Perhaps  extra  help  is  needed  from  outside,  either  during  the  day 
or  to  wait  on  the  table  and  help  with  the  cleaning  up. 

A  company  dinner  that  is  to  be  both  prepared  and  served  by  one  maid 
should  be  kept  fairly  simple— three  courses.  Having  a  freezer  makes  it  easy 
to  have  some  dishes  prepared  in  advance.  Canapes  can  be  frozen,  then 
thawed  or  put  in  the  oven  (for  those  requiring  broiling)  just  before  the 
guests  arrive  and  so  can  the  dinner  rolls.  Frozen  vegetables  cut  down  on 
preparation  time.  The  dessert— even  pie  or  cake— can  come  from  the  freezer. 

If  you  have  no  freezer,  use  the  freezing  compartment  of  your  refriger- 
ator wisely.  It  can  store  a  dessert  for  a  dinner  party  a  day  or  more  in 
advance,  and  it  also  can  yield  the  vegetables.  Rolls  can  be  of  the  brown- 
and-serve  variety  or  little  glazed  dinner  rolls  from  the  bakery.  Don't  ask 
Anna  to  bake  fresh  rolls,  along  with  everything  else  she  has  to  do. 

A  simply  prepared  solid  piece  of  meat  for  carving  at  the  table  or  to  be 
passed  from  a  platter  cuts  down  work.  A  roast,  steak,  broilers,  or  chops  are 
more  convenient  for  a  dinner  than  fried  chicken,  veal  scallopini,  fried  fish, 
or  seafood.  Avoid  foods  that  require  last-minute  preparation  and  prompt 
consumption— fried  things  and  souffles  for  example.  Roast  beef  is  everybody's 
favorite,  and  everyone,  too,  likes  steak,  plain  or  dressed  up.  But  steak  is 
difficult  if  dinner  has  been  preceded  by  more  than  three  cocktails.  It  just 
can't  be  held  indefinitely.  If  there  is  any  doubt  about  the  exact  time  of 
sitting  down  to  dinner,  roast  lamb,  roast  pork,  roast  veal,  baked  ham,  roast 
chicken  are  far  wiser  choices  than  steak  or  roast  beef. 

fHE  first  course  If  a  first  course  is  to  be  served  at  the  table  (it  could  have 
been  served  in  the  living  room  and  at  such  a  dinner  it  may  be  omitted)  a 
place  plate  is  in  place  with  the  folded  dinner  napkin  on  it  or  the  first  course 

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PART  THREE      HOME  ENTERTAINING 

is  actually  on  the  place  plate.  In  summer  the  first  course  may  be  creme  vichys- 
soise,  in  winter  a  fish  ramekin  or  hot  soup  in  a  bowl,  a  cup,  or  in  a  flat  plate, 
with  the  folded  napkin  to  the  left  of  the  forks.  For  utmost  simplicity,  if  there 
is  no  first  course,  the  heated  dinner  plates  are  at  each  place. 

A  first  course  may  be  served  by  the  maid  once  guests  have  been  seated  and 
have  opened  their  napkins.  All  serving  procedures  described  are  intended 
to  simplify  work,  save  steps,  and  speed  service.  The  maid  comes  in  from 
the  serving  pantry  or  kitchen  with  the  soup  or  other  entree  in  her  left  hand, 
and  at  a  dinner  of  no  more  than  eight,  beginning  with  the  lady  at  the  host's 
right  (never  with  the  hostess),  she  serves  clockwise,  ending  with  the  host. 
Everything  is  served  to  the  left.  Or,  if  there  is  no  first  course  and  place  plates 
are  on  the  table,  she  exchanges  the  place  plates  for  heated  dinner  plates, 
taking  off  the  place  plates  with  her  right  hand  to  the  guest's  left  or  right 
and  putting  down  the  hot  plate  with  her  left  on  the  guest's  left  side.  Then 
she  brings  in  the  main  dish  and  sets  it  before  the  host  if  it  is  to  be  carved. 
She  passes  it  (first  showing  it  to  the  hostess  for  inspection)  to  the  woman 
guest  of  honor,  at  the  host's  right,  if  it  is  a  made  dish  such  as  a  casserole 
or  if  it  is  meat  or  fish  that  has  been  portioned  in  the  kitchen.  This  is  bal- 
anced on  her  left  hand  on  a  clean,  folded  napkin,  steadied,  if  necessary, 
with  her  right.  Then  she  brings  in  the  vegetables,  one  dish  in  each  hand 
on  the  serving  napkin.  (A  two-  or  three-compartment  dish  is  excellent  here, 
too.)  She  offers  first  the  dish  in  her  left  hand,  then  that  in  her  right.  In 
each  dish  is  a  serving  spoon  and  fork  face  down  with  handles  toward  the 
person  to  be  served.  (Forks  may  be  omitted  if  the  vegetable  is  something 
like  peas.  However,  with  a  vegetable  like  asparagus  or  a  vegetable  that 
actually  needs  to  be  lifted,  both  implements  are  provided.  Asparagus,  by  the 
way,  is  often  on  a  folded  linen  napkin  in  the  dish  if  a  sauce  is  to  be  served 
separately,  otherwise  it  must  be  well  strained  before  being  placed  on  the 
platter.  Sometimes  toast,  too,  is  used  as  a  moisture-catcher  for  asparagus.) 

The  dish  or  platter  should  be  held  at  a  level  comfortable  to  the  guest, 
never  too  high  and  never  so  far  to  the  side  as  to  cause  him  to  twist  around 
in  his  chair.  Sauces  or  gravies  should  be  served  immediately  after  the  dish 
they  accompany.  Hot  dishes  should  be  very  hot,  cold  ones  chilled.  No 
lukewarm  gravies,  tepid  chops,  or  cold  biscuits. 

if  the  host  carves  If  the  meat  is  to  be  carved  at  the  table,  or  the  fish  appor- 
tioned by  the  host,  the  maid  stands  at  the  host's  left.  Either  she  has  removed 
his  place  plate  and  put  before  him  a  stack  of  hot  dinner  plates  or  he  has 
before  him  one  hot  plate  which  he  fills  and  which  the  maid  then  takes  with 
her  left  hand  and  places  before  the  guest  of  honor,  first  removing  his  hot 
plate  with  her  right  hand,  to  the  left  or  right.  She  then  returns  to  the 
host,  puts  the  new  hot  plate  in  front  of  him,  serves  it  and  gives  him  another. 
The  host  ladles  on  to  each  portion  the  accompanying  sauce  or  gravy  or  this 
may  be  passed  separately  by  the  maid  before  the  vegetables.  Or  she  may 
place  it  on  the  table  to  be  passed  by  the  guests. 

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If  the  host  has  before  him  a  stack  of  hot  plates  the  maid  may  stand  at  his 
left  and  take  one  filled  one  at  a  time,  or  two,  if  the  table  has  been  set  with 
no  place  plates.  Or  she  may  let  the  host  pass  the  plates  right  and  left,  as 
convenient,  and  she  may  bring  the  vegetables  from  the  kitchen  and  serve 
them.  With  one  maid,  this  is  the  best  way  to  serve  when  the  meat  is  carved 
at  table.  It  assures  that  the  food  will  be  served  hot. 

if  the  hostess  serves  A  made  dish  or  one  to  be  portioned  at  the  table,  such 
as  baked  fish,  may  also  be  placed  before  the  hostess.  Or  the  host  may  serve 
meat  or  fish,  and  the  hostess  serve  the  vegetables.  The  maid  first  receives  the 
plate  from  the  host,  takes  it  to  the  hostess'  left  for  vegetables,  sauces,  or 
gravy,  then  serves  it  to  the  guest  of  honor  and  so  on  around  the  table.  If 
the  dining  room  is  so  tiny  as  to  make  any  service  awkward  or  if  the  maid 
is  inept  at  service,  the  best  thing  is  to  let  her  bring  in  the  dishes  for  the 
host  and  hostess  to  serve,  remove  them  at  the  right  time,  crumb  the  table, 
perhaps  pour  the  water,  and  serve  the  dessert  and  after-dinner  coffee, 
letting  it  go  at  that.  Better  no  service  than  the  bumbling  kind. 

serve  left,  remove  right?  At  my  school  in  Europe  each  girl  had  to  wait  on 
table  certain  days  in  the  week.  Everything  was  served  to  the  left  and, 
formal  style,  removed  from  the  left.  This  was  to  teach  us  how  to  train  our 
servants  when  we  had  our  own  households.  The  removal  of  plates  from  the 
left  is  strictly  correct,  but  in  America  to  speed  service  with  limited  help  it 
is  quite  permissible  to  serve  left,  remove  from  the  right.  If  this  is  done, 
however,  the  waitress  never  reaches  in  front  of  a  guest  to  remove  from  the 
right  anything  such  as  a  butter  plate  on  the  guest's  extreme  left.  These 
things  are  removed  from  the  left,  always. 

serving  and  removing  two  plates  at  a  time  Where  a  service  plate  need 
not  be  considered,  particularly  after  the  table  has  been  cleared  for  dessert— 
of  all  soiled  plates,  of  salts,  of  condiments,  of  bread,  of  crumbs,  and  of  rel- 
ishes, of  wine  glasses  unless  one  wine  is  serving  through  to  dessert— two 
plates  at  a  time  may  be  served.  This  is  done  by  placing  one  dish  with  the 
right  hand  to  the  left  of  a  guest  and  the  other  dish  with  the  left  hand  to  the 
left  of  the  next  guest. 

In  removing  dishes  the  same  procedure  takes  place,  with  the  soiled  dishes 
being  removed  right,  or  left,  with  the  maid  using  both  hands.  But  if  dishes 
are  being  removed  from  the  left,  all  should  be  removed  consistently  from 
the  left,  so  as  not  to  confuse  the  guests.  They  should  not  be  removed  some- 
times left,  sometimes  right. 

At  the  end  of  dessert,  the  coffee  may  be  served  at  the  table,  with  the 
hostess  pouring,  adding  cream  or  sugar  as  indicated,  and  passing  the  demi- 
tasses  to  guests,  or  after-dinner  coffee  may  be  served  in  the  living  room.  In 
either  case  the  hostess  gives  the  signal  to  rise,  first  catching  the  eye  of  the 
lady  guest  of  honor.  She  then  leads  the  way  to  the  living  room. 

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PART    THREE      HOME  ENTERTAINING 

INFORMAL    LUNCH 

The  term  "luncheon"  is  not  properly  used  in  conversation,  as  it  is  supposedly 
reserved  for  formal  and  ceremonious  use.  A  servant  announces,  "Luncheon 
is  served,"  but  the  hostess  might  turn  to  her  guests  and  say,  "Shall  we  go  in 
to  lunch,  now?"  Hotels  and  restaurants  use  the  term,  but  unaffected  people 
use  the  verb  "to  lunch"  instead.  "Yesterday  I  lunched  with  Muriel,"  not 
"Yesterday  I  had  luncheon  with  Muriel."  In  writing,  especially  in  etiquette 
books,  lunch  and  luncheon  are  more  or  less  interchangeable,  however. 

Lunch  in  a  household  with  one  maid  is  simple— at  most  three  courses, 
sometimes,  in  consideration  of  dieters,  only  one. 

The  first  course,  which  may  be  soup  or  an  entree,  is  in  place  on  a  place 
plate  as  the  guests  enter,  hostess  first  to  indicate  the  seating.  Soup  is  served 
at  lunch  in  a  cup,  bowl  or  covered  casserole.  However,  if  it  is  to  be  the  main 
course— a  thick  soup  such  as  bouillabaisse  or  French  potato  soup— it  is  often 
served  in  flat  soup  plates  from  a  tureen,  with  thick  slices  of  French  bread, 
fresh  or  toasted,  in  the  semicut  long  loaf  with  garlic  butter.  Butter  plates 
are  on  the  table,  and  the  maid  either  passes  a  variety  of  breads,  often  small 
hot  ones,  or  places  the  bread  basket  or  dish  on  the  table  for  passing  among 
the  guests.  A  long  French  loaf  may  come  to  the  table  on  a  cutting  board  with 
a  bread  knife. 

When  summoned,  the  maid  removes  the  soup  and  place  plate  together 
from  left  or  right  and  immediately  replaces  them  with  the  plate  for  the  fol- 
lowing course,  which  may  be  a  salad  plate  arranged  in  the  kitchen  or  a 
luncheon  plate  with  an  individual  casserole  on  it  or  a  warm  plate  for  a  dish 
that  is  to  be  passed  or  served  by  the  hostess. 

She  then  brings  in  the  main  dish,  if  there  is  one  to  be  served,  and  either 
holds  it  on  the  flat  of  her  left  hand  on  a  folded  napkin,  serving  to  the  left  of 
each  guest,  or  places  it  in  front  of  the  hostess,  then  stands  to  the  hostess' 
left  to  receive  the  filled  plates.  In  small  dining  rooms  or  where  the  maid  is 
less  than  perfection  it  is  much  simpler  for  the  hostess  not  only  to  "dish"  the 
main  course  but  to  hand  around  the  plates  herself,  serving  the  lady  on  her 
right  first.  Better  complete  informality  than  ceremony  that  doesn't  quite 
come  off. 

During  the  main  course  the  maid  pours  water,  when  needed,  and  perhaps 
wine.  In  the  summer,  iced,  sweetened,  and  lemon-flavored  tea  or  water  and 
wine  are  placed  on  the  table,  so  the  guests  may  help  themselves  at  the 
hostess'  suggestion.  If  iced  coffee  is  served,  hot  coffee  is  poured  over  ice 
cubes  into  the  glasses  at  the  table  and  sugar  and  cream  are  passed  either  by 
die  maid  or  by  the  hostess,  so  guests  may  add  either  or  both  to  taste.  At  the 
end  of  the  main  course  the  plates  are  removed,  left  or  right,  and  off  come 
the  butter  plates,  bread  tray,  condiments,  and  any  serving  dishes.  The  water 
glasses  remain  and  so  do  wine  glasses  if  wine  is  to  be  served  through  dessert. 
If  sherry  was  served  with  the  soup  the  sherry  glasses  are  usually  removed 
with  the  soup.  Before  the  dessert  comes  in  the  table  is  crumbed. 

Dessert  may  be  portioned  in  the  kitchen  and  served,  left,  to  each  guest, 

267 


with  dessert  spoon  and  fork  left  and  right  on  the  plate,  or  the  dessert  imple- 
ments may  be  at  the  top  of  the  plate  throughout  the  meal,  European  style. 
Or  the  dessert,  say,  charlotte  russe,  may  be  served  by  the  hostess  who  has 
to  her  left  the  plates  on  which  to  serve  it.  Either  the  maid  stays  to  place  one 
plate  at  a  time  before  the  hostess  from  a  stack  at  the  left  or  the  hostess  does 
this  herself,  placing  the  dessert  silver  from  the  neatly  arranged  spoons  and 
forks  on  her  right  before  passing  each  dish.  Hot  tea,  never  served  after  iced 
tea,  of  course,  or  after  iced  coffee,  is  served  by  the  hostess  at  the  table.  If  it 
is  convenient  and  she  has  the  equipment  she  may  make  it  right  at  the  table 
over  a  small  electric  burner  or,  traditionally,  over  a  spirit  lamp.  But,  more 
usually,  the  teapot  is  brought  in  from  the  kitchen  on  a  bare  tray  with  the 
necessary  cups  and  saucers,  the  sugar,  milk,  hot  water,  basin,  and  lemon 
slices.  (See  "How  to  Make  Tea.")  The  little  ceremony  of  making  tea  is 
always  reserved  to  the  hostess,  who,  in  turn,  unless  there  are  many  at  table, 
hands  each  cup  directly  to  each  guest.  She  may  add  "cream"  or  lemon  and/ 
or  sugar  as  indicated  by  the  guest,  or  these  may  be  passed  separately  by  the 
maid.  Tea  is  never,  never  served  in  the  kitchen  and  passed  on  a  tray.  It 
should  be  made  with  loose  tea  leaves,  never  with  what  Louise  Andrews 
Kent  (Mrs.  Appleyard)  refers  to  as  "the  mouse  in  the  teacup,"  a  tea  bag. 
These  little  horrors  are,  I  suppose,  a  necessity  of  cafeterias,  but  they  do  a 
great  disservice  to  tea. 

There  is  no  further  disturbance  of  the  guests  by  the  maid  while  tea  k 
being  drunk.  Tea  is  one  of  the  most  pleasant  digestives.  Its  good  offices 
must  not  be  hurried  by  a  busy  little  maid  clearing  away  the  dessert  dishes. 


INFORMAL,    TEA 

Afternoon  tea  as  a  gentle  means  of  relaxation  should  be  encouraged  in  this 
country.  Surely  it  is  a  pleasant,  and  incidentally  inexpensive,  way  to  repay 
small  social  obligations,  even  though  husbands,  unless  they  happen  to  work 
at  home,  can  rarely  be  included. 

Invitations  to  simple  teas  at  home  are  usually  given  personally  by  the 
hostess  or  by  phone.  For  elaborate  teas  a  calling  card  or  an  informal  may  be 
sent  but  this  would  be  done  only  for  some  special  occasion.  For  debutante 
teas  the  invitations  are  engraved.  (See  Correspondence  Section.) 

The  actual  tray  on  which  the  tea  is  served  has  no  cloth,  although  the 
table  on  which  it  is  placed  usually  does.  (See  "Service  of  Tea,  Coffee,  and 
Candy"  and  "How  to  Make  Tea.")  All  silver  should  be  gleaming.  Tea  plates 
are  in  a  stack,  a  folded  napkin  between  each  one.  On  the  tea  tray  are  the 
following:  pitcher  of  hot  water  (for  those  who  like  diluted  tea),  teapot  in 
any  heat-holding  material,  silver  or  silver  plate  being  the  most  decorative, 
a  bowl  for  waste  leaves,  sugar,  milk  (not  cream),  lemon  slices  with  pick  or 
small  fork,  tea  knives  and  forks  if  necessary,  cups  and  saucers,  conveniently 
stacked  if  necessary,  buttered  thin  bread,  jam,  cookies,  small  cakes,  tarts, 
or  pastries,  sugar  tongs  for  lump  sugar. 

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setting  up  the  tea  tray  The  tea  tray  is  always  set  up  without  a  cloth  and 
with  all  the  things  on  it  arranged  in  pleasing  symmetry.  Shown  lower  left  to 
right:  Teaspoons  ( optional,  otherwise  on  saucers  as  shown ) ,  basin  for  leaves, 
teapot  on  alcohol  lamp,  sugar,  cream  (really  milk),  sugar  tongs,  hot  water. 
Upper,  left  to  right:  Tea  plates  stacked  with  tea  napkins,  tea  cups  with 
spoons  shown  on  saucers  to  right  of  handles,  jam  pot,  lemon  slices  stuck 
with  cloves. 

One  dresses  for  tea  according  to  neighborhood  custom.  In  the  country 
and  even  in  the  city  a  tweed  suit  and  sweater  might  be  appropriate.  In  some 
houses  and  with  some  people  a  simple  daytime  dress  might  seem  more  apro- 
pos. In  the  summer  a  fresh  cotton  or  linen  such  as  is  worn  in  hot  weather  is 
correct.  Hats  may  or  may  not  be  worn  by  guests. 


COCKTAIL    PARTIES 

Cocktail  time  is  usually  from  five  to  seven.  On  Sundays  and  holidays,  espe- 
cially in  the  country,  cocktails  are  often  served  before  the  lunch  or  noon 
dinner  hour,  not  necessarily  followed  by  a  meal  at  the  home  of  the  host  and 
hostess. 

Any  hostess  who  gives  a  large  cocktail  party  where  many  guests  are 
jammed  in  a  relatively  small  area  may  expect  a  certain  amount  of  damage. 
The  space  should  be  cleared  as  much  as  possible  of  footstools,  objets  dart, 
delicate  plants,  small  children,  and  pets.  Large,  inexpensive  ash  trays  should 
be  provided  in  every  spot  where  a  careless  one  might  feel  prompted  to 
abandon  a  cigarette. 

A  table  or  bar  should  be  set  up,  close  to  the  festive  scene,  where  drinks 
may  be  mixed  and  picked  up.  This  may  be  a  pantry,  a  porch,  the  dining 
room— or  any  place  but  the  kitchen  if  a  meal  is  also  in  progress  of  prepara- 
tion. It  is  inevitable  that  most  of  the  male  and  some  of  the  female  guests 
will  stay  in  more  or  less  fixed  positions  in  the  vicinity  of  the  refreshments. 

On  or  near  the  bar  should  be  a  continuous  supply  of  clean  glasses  and  a 
tray,  too,  for  the  used  ones.  People  are  supposed  to  keep  track  of  their  own 
glasses  at  cocktail  parties  in  anticipation  of  refills,  but  they  never  do.  A  wise 

269 


hostess  equips  herself  with  three  times  the  number  of  glasses  as  guests.  Such 
glasses  need  not  be  expensive  at  all. 

No  cocktail  party  ever  ends  on  schedule.  The  people  you  expected  to  stay 
on  for  dinner  frequently  disappear  early,  probably  because  they  can't  wait 
out  the  bores  who  refuse  to  depart  without  one  more  drink.  The  experienced 
giver  of  cocktail  parties  plans  to  have  dinner  out  to  give  himself  a  good 
excuse  to  clear  the  decks  at  a  fairly  definite  time.  He  is,  of  course,  under  no 
obligation  to  extend  a  dinner  invitation  to  those  remaining,  but  it  usually 
works  out  that  all  the  stragglers  go  along  if  the  dinner  place  is  a  restaurant 
and  there  the  men  share  the  check.  The  host  and  hostess  wishing  to  avoid 
the  cocktail  guests  who  linger  until  midnight  providentially  make  outside 
dinner  engagements  at  friends'  homes  where  they  cannot  take  last-minute 
guests.  Or  they  bring  out  a  cold  supper  when  the  party  has  dwindled. 

INFORMAL    DANCING    AT   HOME 

Large  dances  at  home  are  becoming  rare  except  for  weddings,  when  an 
orchestra  may  be  brought  in  and  a  dancing  pavilion  erected.  In  many  homes 
there  are  occasions  when  the  rugs  may  be  rolled  back  and  the  room  cleared 
for  dancing  to  the  radio  or  phonograph  or  to  the  music  of  an  accordion. 

Graduation  parties  often  are  built  around  a  home  dance.  Porch  or  living 
room  floor  is  sprinkled  with  wax  or  even  corn  meal,  a  refreshment  table  is 
set  up,  music  of  some  sort  provided,  and  the  evening  is  under  way.  Punch 
is  the  most  suitable  beverage  at  a  dance  as  it  is  a  pre-mixed  drink  and  re- 
freshing between  dances.  Nothing  is  served  with  it,  but  a  dance  is  usually 
followed  by  a  late  supper,  simple  or  elaborate  as  the  occasion  demands. 

No  matter  what  the  age  group,  certain  rules  are  always  followed  at 
dances.  A  man  or  boy  always  asks  his  hostess  for  a  dance  during  the  evening. 
And  he  literally  dances  attention  on  the  girl  he  has  brought  to  the  party, 
dancing  his  first  dance  with  her  and  seeing  that  she  is  never  without  a  part- 
ner or  never  left  alone  on  the  sidelines.  A  girl  has  the  obligation  of  paying 
proper  attention  to  the  man  who  has  brought  her,  not  allowing  herself  to  be 
whisked  away  the  minute  she  enters  the  door,  never  to  see  her  escort  again 
during  the  evening  until  it  is  time  to  be  taken  home. 

A  host  tries  to  dance  with  each  woman  guest  at  his  party  sometime  during 
the  evening.  In  a  small  group  if  some  of  the  men  do  not  dance  he  dances 
first  with  a  guest,  then  with  his  wife  if  she  has  not  been  asked  to  dance.  If 
all  wish  to  dance,  host  and  hostess  often  start  off  the  dancing. 

No  guest,  of  course,  leaves  a  dance  without  a  brief  farewell  to  host  and 
hostess.  A  man  who  has  come  alone  always  asks  his  hostess  if  he  may  be  of 
help  in  escorting  an  unaccompanied  lady  home.  A  hostess  never  allows  such 
a  guest  to  go  home  alone. 

"open  house" 

An  "open  house"  is  an  informal  gathering  of  friends  and  neighbors  by  card, 
by  phone,  and  by  word  of  mouth.  In  smaller  communities  where  virtually 
everyone  knows  everyone  else  news  of  a  coming  "open  house"  is  often 

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PART    THREE       HOME  ENTERTAINING 

announced  in  the  local  papers  and  the  community  knows  it  is  welcome  to 
come  without  a  specific  invitation.  An  "open  house"  is  often  given  before  a 
large  wedding  or  the  day  afterward  if  many  people  have  come  long  dis- 
tances for  the  event  and  the  parents  of  either  the  bride  or  groom  wish  to 
entertain  them  in  this  way.  Too,  an  "open  house"  is  frequently  given  as  a 
housewarming. 

At  an  "open  house"  the  time  is  given  to  span  as  many  as  four  or  five  hours. 
People  call  to  pay  their  respects,  have  some  light  refreshment,  punch  and 
small  cakes,  sometimes  buffet  and  highballs,  and  leave.  In  this  way  hun- 
dreds may  be  entertained  modestly  or  elaborately,  as  the  hosts  wish.  Paper 
plates  and  cups  are  usual  and  guests  often  serve  themselves. 


CHAPTER   THIRTY-ONE 

FORMAL  ENTERTAINING 

THE    FORMAL   DINNER 

Few  homes  in  the  land  these  days  can  accommodate  the  traditional  thirty- 
four  guests  at  one  dinner  table.  Who  indeed  has  the  space  to  store  all  the 
silver,  glassware,  and  china  for  such  dinner  parties,  and  where  are  the 
trained  men  to  serve  them,  one  man  to  each  three  guests?  Queen  Victoria's 
dinners  required  three  servants  to  each  six  guests.  Present-day  monarchs 
have  one  footman  to  each  four  or  five  guests. 

Important  hostesses  today  feel  that  formal  dinners  at  home  are  best  re- 
placed by  smaller,  more  frequent  semiformal  and  quite  informal  dinners  or, 
if  occasion  really  seems  to  demand  formal  dinners,  that  they  be  given  in  a 
private  suite  of  a  hotel  or  fashionable  restaurant.  However,  as  the  occasional 
formal  dinner  does  take  place,  let  us  see  how  the  hostess  must  marshal  her 
forces  for  such  an  undertaking. 

First,  she  must  have  the  room  to  seat  all  her  guests  at  one  dining  table. 
The  minute  she  deviates  from  this  arrangement,  or  makes  do  with  female 
help  at  table,  her  dinner  can  no  longer  be  considered  formal. 

Then,  paramount,  of  course,  is  a  chef  or  real  cuisiniere  who  can  turn  out 
to  perfection  the  food  that,  of  itself,  proclaims  a  formal  meal.  Finally,  she 
must  have  a  butler  who  will  function  as  major-domo,  commanding  his  men 
—trained  footmen  perhaps  hired  for  the  occasion  but  preferably  true  house 
servants  rather  than  restaurant  waiters  recruited  for  the  event.  These  are 
usually  best  supplied  by  a  catering  service,  along  with  any  additional  kitchen 
help  that  may  be  needed.  Of  course  all  must  be  properly  attired  (see 
"Dress  and  Duties  of  the  Household  Staff").  The  hostess  who  can  give 
such  a  dinner  with  only  her  own  staff  is  fortunate  indeed. 

Just  before  the  arrival  of  her  guests,  usually  a  few  minutes  before  eight, 
though  sometimes  formal  dinners  start  at  eight-thirty,  the  hostess  checks  the 

271 


seating  at  formal  lunch  and  dinner  and  the  Informal  Dinner  Party 

dining  room  and  gives  any  last  minute  instructions  to  the  butler.  He,  in 
turn,  makes  his  tour  of  the  footmen  and  inspects  their  apparel,  their  shoes, 
hair,  and  fingernails.  In  earlier  times  such  serving  men  wore  white  cotton 
gloves,  because  of  the  danger,  as  one  writer  put  it,  of  a  dirty  thumb  in  the 
soup.  The  butler  sees  to  it  that  there  are  no  dirty  thumbs  or  anything  else 
that  can't  pass  muster. 

ARRIVAL    AND   INTRODUCTION    OF    GUESTS    AT    THE    FORMAL    DINNER       As      he      re- 

moves  his  coat  and  hat  each  gentleman  takes  the  small  envelope  bearing 
his  name  and  containing  the  name  of  his  dinner  partner,  from  a  conven- 
iently placed  hall  tray.  If  the  lady  is  unknown  to  him  he  arranges  to  be 
formally  introduced  before  dinner  is  served.  At  very  large  dinner  parties 
there  is  often  a  table  diagram  in  the  hall,  and  he  should  locate  his  and  his 
partner's  seat  on  this  before  going  in  to  dinner. 

At  such  a  formal  dinner  the  "roof"  is  not  sufficient  introduction,  and  guests 
must  be  formally  introduced  to  one  another.  Obviously  at  very  large  func- 
tions guests  necessarily  meet  only  a  limited  number  of  other  guests. 

entering  the  dining  room  At  formal  dinners  the  host  offers  his  arm  to  the 
woman  guest  of  honor  and  leads  the  way  into  the  dining  room  followed  by 
the  other  guests,  teamed,  with  the  hostess  and  the  male  guest  of  honor  en- 
tering last.  Host  and  hostess  stand  behind  their  chairs,  and  the  hostess  indi- 
cates (if  no  diagram  has  been  provided)  where  each  guest  is  to  sit.  The 
hostess  then  is  seated  by  the  male  guest  of  honor,  and  everyone  else  follows 
suit. 

seating  The  seating  at  formal  dinners  is  the  same  as  that  at  informal  ones  at 
which  guests  are  present.  Host  and  hostess  are  seated  more  or  less  opposite 
each  other,  with  the  hostess  preferably  near  the  entrance  through  which  the 

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PART   THREE      HOME   ENTERTAINING 


formal  place  card.  Monogram,  in  this  case,  in  gold  with  matching  border. 
Name  of  guest  is  handwritten  without  given  name. 

food  will  appear.  To  the  right  of  the  host  is  placed  the  honored  woman 
guest.  If  a  young  engaged  girl  is  to  be  feted,  for  example,  she  is  given  this 
place  despite  the  fact  that  older  women  are  present.  If  among  the  guests 
there  is  one  woman  who  has  come  some  distance  and  is  rarely  a  visitor  to 
the  household,  it  is  she  who  would  be  given  this  place  of  honor.  Ordinarily, 
among  people  who  see  each  other  frequently,  the  hostess  places  to  the  host's 
right  any  woman  who  has  obvious  seniority  over  the  rest  or,  if  none  has, 
any  woman  guest  who  will  bring  out  her  husband  conversationally  if  he 
needs  special  incentive.  To  her  own  right  the  hostess  places  the  husband  of 
the  guest  of  honor,  if  there  is  one,  the  man  who  has  come  the  greatest 
distance  and  is  an  infrequent  visitor  to  the  household  or  a  man  who  may  be 
a  little  shy  or  difficult  conversationally. 

To  the  host's  left  is  placed  the  next  most  important  woman  guest  and  to 
the  hostess'  left,  the  next  most  important  man  guest. 

At  a  long  banquet  table  host  and  hostess  need  not  sit  at  opposite  ends  but 
may  sit  across  from  each  other  at  the  center.  The  same  seating  of  guests  of 
honor  maintains,  however. 

place  cards  at  the  formal  dinner  At  each  place  will  be  a  guest's  name. 
The  cards  are  usually  plain  white  with  beveled  edges  gilded,  although  in  a 
household  using  a  heraldic  device  the  host's  full  coat  of  arms  may  be  em- 
bossed in  gold  or  the  crest  alone  without  the  motto  may  be  used.  A  widow 
or  an  unmarried  woman  may  properly  use  only  a  lozenge  for  menu  and  place 
cards.  (See  "Heraldic  Devices.") 

Place  card  names  are  written  "Mrs.  Roberts,"  "Miss  Sweeney,"  "Mr.  Prud- 
homme"  at  formal  dinners.  At  diplomatic  dinners  titles  are  abbreviated, 
"H.  E.  [for  His  Excellency]  the  Norwegian  Ambassador,"  "The  Secretary 
of  Defense."  Dinner  partners  refer  to  these  gentlemen  as  "Mr.  Ambassador" 
and  "Mr.  Secretary"  in  direct  conversation,  by  the  way. 

menus  and  menu  cards  Menus,  printed,  occasionally  engraved,  in  script,  or 
written  in  scriptlike  handwriting  in  black  ink,  are  always  in  French,  as  we 

273 


Btnner 

Beluga  Caviar 

Saumon  Fume  de  Nova  Scotia 

Pate  de  Foie  Gras  Naturel 

Consomme  Printanier 
Celeri  Radis  Olives 

Terrapin  a  la  Union  Club 

Filet  de  Boeuf  larde  roti 
Pommes  Parisienne  Asperges  Hollandaise 

Salade  du  Jar  din  Petit  Roquefort 

Gateau  St.  Honore  Petits  Fours 

Moka 
Chocolats  Fruits  Noix 

Harvey's  Bristol  Dry  Kentucky  Bourbon 

Liebfraumilch  Auslese  1945  Old  Pugh  1882 

Chateau  Marquis  de  Terme  1923  Old  Jordan  1891 

Cognac 

Dom  Perignon  1928  Spring  Hill  1894 

April  26,  1949 


see  them  at  large,  formal,  public  functions  in  the  best  hotels.  Sometimes  a 
menu,  with  or  without  a  heraldic  device,  is  in  its  holder  at  each  place,  but 
one  is  always  in  front  of  the  host  and  hostess  and  others  are  placed  down 
the  table  with  one  for  each  three  guests. 


THE    SERVICE    BEGINS 

The  butler  takes  his  stand  behind  the  hostess.  He  moves  from  this  vantage 
point  only  when  a  footman  needs  direction  or  when  he,  himself,  pours  the 
wine.  He  actually  serves  food  only  if  there  is  not  sufficient  additional  staff  to 
do  the  serving,  and  then  serves  the  main  dishes  only. 

In  a  smaller  household  a  butler  and  a  footman  can  efficiently  serve  a  for- 

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PART    THREE      HOME   ENTERTAINING 

mal  dinner  for  from  eight  to  twelve  guests.  If  he  is  quite  adept,  with 
adequate  kitchen  support  a  butler  alone  can  handle  a  formal  dinner  for 
eight.  At  dinners  larger  than  twelve  it  is  necessary  to  have  duplicate  serving 
dishes  presented  simultaneously  to  each  six  or  seven  guests.  In  this  way  all 
food  will  be  served  so  that  the  guests  may  eat  more  or  less  at  the  same  time 
and  hot  food  will  be  properly  hot.  The  service  begins  with  the  lady  at  the 
host's  right,  and  at  a  large  dinner  dishes  are  presented  simultaneously  to 
the  ladies  nearest,  right  and  left,  of  the  hostess.  Butler,  if  he  serves,  and  foot- 
men present  dishes  with  the  left  hand,  right  hands  behind  back. 

At  a  very  large  dinner  it  is,  naturally,  not  possible  to  wait  until  each  guest 
has  finished  eating  before  the  clearing  of  plates  begins.  In  lavish  service 
where  a  man  was  behind  each  chair,  for  instance  at  royal  banquets,  each 
plate  was  removed  the  minute  the  diner  indicated  by  placement  of  the  silver 
that  he  had  finished  with  it.  Today,  the  butler  directs  the  removal  of  plates, 
or  begins  the  removal  himself,  when  the  majority  has  finished,  bypassing 
the  slower  diners,  but  there  must  be  no  sense  of  hurry  and  certainly  no 
clatter  or  audible  staff  directions. 

At  only  one  period  is  there  ever  a  moment  when  there  is  not  a  plate 
before  a  guest.  That  is  just  before  the  service  of  dessert.  Until  then,  begin- 
ning with  the  place  plate  with  its  folded  napkin  upon  it,  there  is  always  a 
plate.  Sometimes  there  is  still  another  on  top  of  it,  as  in  the  case  of,  say,  a 
crabmeat  cocktail  which  would  be  in  a  stemmed  double  container,  the 
"supreme"  glass  (sometimes  silver)  surrounding  the  "liner,"  on  a  small 
service  plate.  This  complete  unit  is  placed  on  the  place  plate.  It  is  replaced, 
on  the  place  plate,  with  the  soup  course— always  in  a  flat  dish.  At  the  end 
of  the  soup  course  place  plate  and  soup  dish  are  removed,  and,  at  a  formal 
meal,  removal  is  only  from  the  left,  except  for  those  parts  of  the  setting  that 
are  on  the  guest's  right.  As  the  place  and  soup  plate  are  removed  together, 
the  warm  plate  for  the  fish  course  is  immediately  substituted.  After  the  fish 
course  has  been  removed  the  "rdti'  appears,  always  hot,  though  not  neces- 
sarily "roasted"  at  all.  It  is  always  completely  arranged  on  a  beautifully 
garnished  platter  or  platters,  often  with  its  accompanying  vegetables,  such 
as  tiny  pan-roasted  potatoes.  Or  green  vegetables  follow  on  a  separate  serv- 
ing dish,  sometimes  on  the  partitioned  kind  where  vegetables  such  as  new 
peas,  julienne  carrots,  and  buttered  pearl  onions  may  each  occupy  a  section. 
The  whole  course  is  passed  to  each  guest  who  takes  something  of  everything 
but  actually  eats  what  he  pleases.  At  a  formal  dinner  nothing  is  offered  a 
second  time,  aside  from  water  and  wine  replenishments. 

In  Victorian  days  a  sherbet,  or  "sorbet,"  followed  the  roast  or  came  be- 
tween entree  and  roast  as  a  separate  course.  In  the  West,  Midwest,  South, 
and  Southwest  today  it  is  often  served  in  a  sherbet  compote,  which  in  turn 
is  on  a  small  serving  plate.  It  may  be  eaten  with  a  spoon  or  a  fork  along 
with  the  main  course. 

In  Victorian  days,  too,  a  ten-course  formal  dinner  was  quite  customarv 
with  game  following  the  roast.  Today,  the  roast,  which  may  well  he  game,  is 

275 


the  climax  of  the  formal  dinner  and  is  followed  by  salad,  dessert,  and  fruit. 
The  salad  course  is  often  quite  elaborate,  perhaps  pate  de  foie  gras  en  belle- 
vue  served  without  dressed  lettuce  because  its  delicate  flavor  must  be  kept 
intact.  Its  garniture,  therefore,  is  more  likely  to  be  plain  watercress  or  bits  of 
aspic.  Or  the  salad  may  be  of  exotic,  green  hearts  of  palm  with  thin  slices  of 
cold  smoked  turkey. 

Where  there  are  plenty  of  servants  the  fingerbowl  may  not  come  in  on  the 
fruit  plate  but  may  be  brought  on  its  own  serving  plate,  replacing  the  used 
fruit  plate  before  the  guests  leave  the  table  for  coffee.  Otherwise,  at  a  formal 
dinner,  fruit  plate,  fruit  knife  and  fork,  finger  bowl,  and  doily  arrive  as  one 
unit.  (See  "Presentation  of  the  Finger  Bowl.") 

turning  the  table  The  "turning  of  the  table"  at  a  formal  dinner  is  suppos- 
edly done  by  the  hostess  somewhere  midway  during  the  meal.  She  gently 
terminates  her  conversation  with  the  gentleman  on  her  right— the  gentleman 
of  honor— and  turns  to  the  gentleman  on  her  left.  Others  are  supposed  to 
watch  for  this  "turn"  and  do  likewise.  In  actual  practice  people  try  to  con- 
verse right  and  left  throughout  the  meal,  and  even  across  a  sufficiently  nar- 
row table,  in  a  normal  way.  "Turning  the  table"  makes  for  conversational 
artificiality, 

leaving  the  dining  room  At  the  end  of  the  fruit  course,  the  hostess  catches 
the  eye  of  the  lady  of  honor  or  some  other  lady  at  the  other  end  of  the 
table,  bows,  and  slowly  rises.  The  gentlemen  rise  and,  where  there  are  not 
enough  men  servants,  assist  the  ladies.  The  hostess  then  indicates  where 
coffee  is  to  be  served.  English  style,  the  men  are  served  at  the  dining  table 
with  cigars,  port,  liqueurs,  and  demitasses,  the  latter  offered  today  with 
cream  and  sugar,  though  once  it  was  de  rigueur  to  serve  cafe  noir  at  a  formal 
dinner.  Or  the  men  may  escort  their  dinner  partners  to  the  living  room,  then 
leave  them  for  the  library  or  wherever  else  the  men  are  congregating  for 
coffee.  The  women  then  have  coffee  and  liqueurs  alone  and,  before  the  men 
return,  repair  their  make-up.  Or,  Continental  fashion,  men  and  women  leave 
the  dining  room  together,  the  men  offering  their  arms,  and  together  enjoy 
their  coffee  and  liqueurs  and  smoking  in  the  living  room.  This  is  the 
pleasanter  method,  it  seems  to  me,  and  helps  prevent  that  dismaying  band- 
ing of  men  together  that  so  often  occurs  at  American  dinner  parties. 

departing  after  the  formal  dinner  Except  for  some  very  good  reason  dis- 
cussed previously  with  the  hostess,  no  guest  may  leave  after  a  formal  dinner 
in  a  private  home  in  less  than  two  and  a  half  to  three  hours  and  even  then, 
not  until  the  guest  or  guests  of  honor  have  departed.  At  formal  public  din- 
ners guests  who  must  leave  early  go  quietly  either  before  the  speeches  begin 
or  between  them,  never  while  a  guest  of  honor  is  speaking  or  while  a  national 
anthem  is  being  played.  Those  who  must  leave,  leave  by  the  nearest  exit 
without  stopping  to  talk  or  bid  farewell  to  guests  encountered  en  route,  ex- 
cept to  bow  briefly. 

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THE    FORMAL    LUNCHEON 

In  the  1880s  formal  luncheons,  feminine  to  a  degree,  were  very  elaborate, 
with  hand-painted  satin  menu  cards,  illustrated  place  cards,  fantastic  pas- 
toral centerpieces. 

An  etiquette  writer  of  the  day,  speaking  of  such  affairs,  found  it  necessary 
to  admonish,  "To  eat  with  gloves  on  is  female  snobbery.  Young  women  who 
go  out  to  parties  may  be  indifferent  to  smearing  them  with  lobster  salad,  or 
to  have  the  first  finger  and  thumb  darkened  where  the  spoon  touches  them. 
But  nothing  is  prettier  than  the  freshness  of  a  woman's  hand,  and  the  best 
fitting  glove  is,  after  all,  but  an  awkward  thing.  Gloved  hands  that  feed, 
to  keep  up  the  whole  dignity  of  the  thing,  should  find  mouths  which  were 
hidden  behind  veils."  Ladies  lunching  in  those  days  were  snuggly  hatted, 
without  exception,  including  the  hostess.  It  is  interesting  to  note  that  Queen 
Victoria  was  reported  as  dining  gloveless. 

Today,  although  the  formal  lunch  at  home  is  rare,  it  does  occasionally 
take  place,  especially  at  country  places,  resorts,  and  in  diplomatic  circles. 

Invitations  to  a  formal  luncheon  are  usually  telephoned,  but  those  to 
official  luncheons  are  engraved.  At  official  luncheons  and  at  Sunday,  Satur- 
day, or  holiday  ones,  men  and  women  guests  are  usually  equal  in  number; 
otherwise  a  formal  luncheon  is  essentially  a  feminine  occasion. 

Again,  a  formal  luncheon  is  not  possible  without  an  adequate  household 
staff.  A  hostess  may  not  serve  it  herself,  although  if  butler  or  houseman  is 
lacking  a  waitress  is  quite  acceptable  at  a  formal  lunch,  though  not  at  a 
formal  dinner. 

greeting  guests  The  guests  are  met  at  the  door  by  a  servant  who  indicates 
where  coats  may  be  left.  He  or  she  then  usually  precedes  the  guest  to  the 
living  room  (unless  all  guests  know  the  house  well),  walks  to  within  speak- 
ing distance  of  the  seated  hostess,  and  announces  the  guest's  name.  The 
hostess  rises  in  greeting,  but  there  is  no  formal  receiving  line. 

Sherry  and  "biscuits"  are  often  served.  Occasionally  cocktails  are  served 
before  luncheon,  but  usually  the  hostess  offers  an  alternative  of  vegetable 
juice  of  some  kind. 

After  all  the  guests  have  assembled,  the  butler  or  waitress  announces 
luncheon.  The  hostess  leads  the  way  with  the  guest  of  honor,  if  any,  and  the 
others  follow  along  in  any  convenient  manner,  with  any  gentlemen  present 
not  offering  their  arms  as  at  a  formal  dinner.  If  there  are  no  place  cards  the 
hostess  from  behind  her  chair  indicates  where  each  is  to  sit,  with  the  guest 
of  honor  at  her  right.  If  a  host  is  present  and  the  guest  of  honor  is  a  woman, 
she  is  seated,  of  course,  on  his  right. 

place  cards  and  menus  At  official  luncheons  both  place  cards  and  menus 
may  be  used,  and  place  cards  at  other  formal  luncheons  are  convenient  when 
more  than  eight  are  to  be  seated.  The  place  cards  are  placed  upon  the 
folded  napkin,  which  is,  in  turn,  on  the  service  plate.  A  menu  card,  engraved 
or  handwritten,  is  placed  in  its  holder  or  flat  on  the  table,  either  one  for 

277 


folding  of  napkins  Left:  There  are  many  ways  to  fold  napkins  (see  text),  but 
.  simplicity  is  usual  now.  To  dramatize  initialed  dinner  napkins,  first  arrange 
napkins  with  loose  edges  upward  on  the  plate.  The  fold  of  the  napkin  will 
then  form  the  point  of  a  triangle.  Now  fold  over  the  loose  edges  to  form  a 
small  triangle  above  the  monogram,  then  fold  under  the  other  two  points 
of  the  napkin  to  make  the  arrangement  shown.  Lay  flat  on  service  plate. 
Right:  The  simple  fold  of  a  large  dinner  napkin.  The  square  is  folded  over 
left  into  a  rectangle  and  placed  flat  on  the  plate.  A  small  hard  roll  may 
be  placed  in  the  fold  or  on  top  of  it,  or  to  the  left  of  the  forks. 

each  place  or  one  for  each  two  or  three  guests.  There  should  be  one  before 
the  hostess  and  another  before  the  host  if  he  is  present. 

the  table  Damask  cloths  are  not  used  at  formal  luncheons.  Place  mats  of  the 
more  formal  variety,  usually  white,  or  an  embroidered  cloth  which  does  not 
overhang  the  table  are  customary. 

There  are  no  candles  on  a  luncheon  table,  but  there  are  flowers  or  some 
other  centerpiece.  Butter  plates  are  used,  even  at  a  formal  table.  Most  for- 
mally, the  butter  is  passed,  rather  than  being  in  place  when  the  guests  sit 
down.  The  butter  is  in  decorative  curls  or  decorated  balls  or  pats,  not  merely 
sliced  off  a  quarter-pound  bar.  The  butter  decorations  may  be  a  bit  of 
parsley  or  other  herb.  Various  hot  breads  are  passed  during  the  meal. 

If  the  table  is  large,  decorative  dishes  of  fruit,  candies,  or  nuts  may  be 
spaced  down  the  length  of  the  table.  A  large  epergne  may  contain  both  fruits 
and  flowers,  and  on  a  long  table  the  flower  motif  could  be  repeated  in  tight 
little  low  flower  arrangements  strategically  placed.  Sometimes  there  are 
place  corsages  for  the  ladies  on  some  very  special  occasion,  such  as  a  debu- 
tante luncheon. 

The  luncheon  napkin  is  smaller  than  that  used  for  a  formal  dinner.  It  is 
folded  with  an  eye  to  the  usual  corner  monogram  (see  illustration).  It  has 
been  folded  by  the  laundress  in  a  square.  This  square  is  folded  into  a  triangle 
with  the  embroidery  at  the  top.  Then  the  other  two  points  of  the  triangle  are 
folded  in  under  the  napkin,  which  is  then  placed  on  the  place  plate,  mono- 
gram up,  of  course.  The  napkin  may  also  be  folded  in  half  lengthwise,  as  it 
comes  from  the  linen  supply,  so  that  it  forms  a  neat  rectangle.  This  is 
placed  on  the  place  plate  with  the  fold  on  the  left. 

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PART  THREE      HOME  ENTERTAINING 

At  the  formal  luncheon  no  food  is  portioned  or  carved  at  the  table  but  is 
brought  in  and  passed. 

the  food  As  people  prefer  lighter  luncheons  today,  even  a  formal  luncheon  is 
limited  to  a  maxinvim  of  four  courses,  more  usually  three.  The  food  should 
be  chosen  for  its  seeming  simplicity  and  deliciousness.  Each  course  should 
balance  well  against  the  one  to  follow.  There  is  expected  to  be  a  certain  dis- 
tinction about  the  food  for  any  formal  meal,  and  that  for  a  formal  luncheon 
is  no  exception.  Menus  are  written  in  French,  and  the  service  must  be  as 
faultless  as  the  linen  and  silver. 

A  possible  winter  menu  for  a  formal  luncheon  could  be: 

Consomme  a  la  princesse 

Red  snapper  a  la  dauphine 

Pommes  duchesse  salade  de  concombres 

Fromage  de  Roquefort 

Fruits  assortis 

Cafe 

Usually  not  more  than  two  wines  are  served  at  a  formal  luncheon,  but  one 
throughout  is  correct,  too.  Sherry,  at  room  temperature,  may  be  served  with 
the  soup  (but  not  with  fish).  It  may  be  poured  from  a  decanter  by  the  serv- 
ant, who,  however,  must  not  lift  the  glass  from  its  place.  The  sherry  glass  is 
at  the  upper  left  of  the  knives,  with  the  glass  for  any  subsequent  wine  to 
its  right.  (See  illustration  of  place  setting  for  the  formal  luncheon.)  A  dry 
white  wine  is  served  with  the  fish,  and  possibly  a  liqueur  after  the  coffee. 
Champagne,  for  some  very  special  occasion,  could  be  the  only  wine,  served 
from  soup  to  dessert  or  introduced  with  the  entree. 

A  suggested  summer  menu  for  a  formal  luncheon: 

Bisque  d'ecrevisses 

Filet  de  volaille  glac6  a  la  Perigordine 

Tomate  nouvelle  farcie  Choufleur  a  la  Polonaise 

Asperges  froids  sauce  vinaigrette 

Peches  a  la  creme 

Cafe 

A  well-chilled  white  wine  might  be  served  throughout  the  meal.  Sherry 
could  be  served  with  the  soup,  but,  as  it  is  fortified,  it  is  not  always  the  best 
choice  on  a  hot  day. 


FORMAL    TEAS 

Occasionally  there  is  an  official  tea  or  perhaps  a  large  tea  for  a  visiting  ce- 
lebrity where  the  guests  are  mainly  feminine.  In  these  cases,  formal  tea 
follows  a  traditional  pattern.  (See  "Debuts"  Section— for  the  Debutante 
Tea.) 

279 


the  table  and  the  lighting  The  tea  table  must  be  large  enough  to  ac- 
commodate two  services  on  trays,  at  opposite  ends  of  the  table,  one  for  tea, 
the  other  for  coffee  or  chocolate.  On  the  table,  too,  are  placed  buffet  style, 
the  necessary  cups,  small  plates,  and  silverware  as  well  as  the  special  tea 
foods.  The  tea  table,  opened  to  its  ultimate  length,  may  be  set  in  any  con- 
venient room  to  which  passage  to  and  from  is  easy  and  where  groups  may 
stand  about,  or  occasionally  sit,  and  have  their  tea  with  access  to  the  food, 
which  they  serve  to  themselves.  (See  "Club  Teas") 

On  the  table  itself  is  a  white  tea  cloth,  but  the  trays,  usually  silver,  are 
bare.  Each  beverage  service— a  large  urn  is  usual  for  coffee,  a  samovar  good 
for  the  tea— is  presided  over  by  a  hostess.  The  tea  is  set  up  farthest  from  the 
entrance,  the  coffee  closest  to  it.  At  a  large  tea  the  hostess  herself  often  re- 
serves her  energies  for  seeing  that  her  guests  enjoy  themselves,  and  she  dele- 
gates the  actual  "pouring"  to  two  friends  well-acquainted  with  the  ritual. 
These  ladies  seat  themselves  at  opposite  ends  of  the  table  before  the  trays 
and  serve  each  guest  as  he  appears.  The  conversation  may  be  limited  to 
"Sugar?"  or  "Cream?"  (actually  this  is,  or  should  be,  milk  or  nearly  so,  but 
it  is  usually  referred  to  as  "cream"),  "Lemon?"  In  a  crush,  the  guest  may 
volunteer  this  information,  and  during  a  lull  he  may  stand  by  and  exchange 
a  few  courteous  words  with  the  "pourer,"  who  despite  the  honor  is  prob- 
ably in  for  a  dull  period.  The  guest  always  says,  "Thank  you,"  on  receiving 
the  proffered  cup.  It  is  permissible  to  return  as  many  times  as  one  wishes 
for  more  tea,  coffee,  or  chocolate,  but  one  waits  until  any  who  have  not  yet 
been  served  have  received  theirs  before  asking  for  more. 

Very  occasionally  at  a  large  tea,  the  tea,  chocolate,  or  coffee  are  poured 
at  the  table  but  passed  by  servants  on  trays.  This  is  not  very  satisfactory. 
The  rule  is  that  the  tea  should  come  directly  from  the  hands  of  the  pourer 
to  the  receiver,  that  it  should  be  made,  if  possible,  before  one's  eyes,  as  it 
was  in  the  days  when  the  kettle  came  directly  from  the  hob  and  the  guests 
had  the  pleasure  of  watching  the  steam  rise  and  the  full  fragrance  of  the 
steeping  tea  filled  the  room. 

Of  course,  if  gentlemen  are  present  they  may  offer  to  get  tea  for  the  vari- 
ous ladies,  but  a  tea  is,  essentially,  a  self-service  repast,  and  aside  from  the 
receiving  of  the  cup  from  the  hands  of  the  tea-maker,  guests  are  expected 
to  help  themselves  to  the  various  things  upon  the  table. 

The  room  in  which  formal  tea  is  served  is  always  artificially  lighted,  with 
the  curtains  drawn  as  if  for  an  evening  entertainment.  Candles,  tall  and 
white,  are  most  formal  and,  of  course,  most  becoming. 

the  food  Tea  refreshments  are  quite  different  from  those  served  at  a  cocktail 
party,  and  it  is  not  wise  to  try  to  combine  the  two.  People  who  love  tea 
begin  with  some  simple,  bland  thing  like  thin,  very  fresh  bread  with  butter 
and  jam.  (For  this  plain  bread  and  butter  the  crusts  are  left  on,  for  sand- 
wiches they  are  removed.)  They  may  pass  on  to  more  complex  combina- 
tions, such  as  watercress  sandwiches,  chopped  candied  ginger  and  cream 
cheese  sandwiches,  little  hot,  toasted  cheese  rolled  sandwiches,  open-faced 

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PART    THREE       HOME  ENTERTAINING 

rounds  or  crab  or  lobster  mixture  on  soft  white  or  graham  bread— the  tea 
kind  of  food,  not  the  cocktail  appetizers. 

bidding  farewell  There  is  no  obligation  on  the  part  of  a  tea  guest  at  a  formal 
tea  to  stay  more  than  the  half  hour  needed  to  consume  his  tea.  He  has 
chatted  with  anyone  taking  tea  in  his  immediate  vicinity,  not  necessarily 
introducing  himself  first  if  he  is  a  stranger.  He  has  thanked  the  "pourers,"  if 
they  are  courtesy  hostesses,  as  he  received  his  tea,  so  in  leaving  he  need  not 
approach  them  again.  If  his  hostess  is  not  pouring  he  seeks  her  out  for  a  few 
appreciative  words  in  farewell.  He  also  says  good-by  to  the  host  if  there  is 
one.  If  the  hostess  herself  is  pouring  she  does  not,  in  this  case,  rise  to  bid  a 
guest  farewell.  She  bows  from  behind  the  tea  table,  offers  her  hand,  perhaps, 
smiles,  and  says  a  few  words.  The  guest  may  be  shown  out  by  a  member  of 
the  family,  but  more  likely  he  makes  his  departure  alone. 

FORMAL    DANCES    AT    HOME 

The  very  formal  dance  or  ball  at  home,  frequent  in  the  "season"  abroad  in 
the  great  houses,  is  increasingly  rare  here  because  of  our  telescoping  living 
arrangements.  Still,  in  the  South,  the  Southwest,  the  Midwest,  and  some- 
times in  the  Far  West  there  still  exist  the  houses  that  can  accommodate  large 
numbers  of  guests— and  hosts  and  hostesses  who  enjoy  giving  such  elaborate 
parties.  They  begin  late,  and  invitations  state  the  hour  as  ten-thirty  or  eleven 
(rarely  on  the  quarter  hour  for  formal  invitations).  They  really  get  under 
way  around  eleven- thirty.  (See  Correspondence  Section  for  dance  invita- 
tions.) 

The  exterior  of  the  house  is  always  specially  prepared  for  the  occasion. 
A  red  carpet  usually  runs  from  curb  to  front  door  and  there  is  an  awning. 
A  floodlight  is  on  for  the  convenience  of  arrivals.  The  family  chauffeur 
assists  guests  from  their  cars,  and  there  may  be  private  detectives  or  a 
policeman  to  protect  arriving,  bejeweled  celebrities,  all  most  formally  attired. 

A  caterer  and  florist  have  taken  over  the  house.  There  is  a  room  set  aside 
for  racks  on  which  coats  are  to  be  checked,  and  a  caterer's  man  in  house 
livery  gives  each  guest  a  ticket  for  articles  checked  as  he  enters.  A  gentle- 
man accompanying  a  lady  accepts  her  ticket  and,  on  leaving,  collects  both 
garments  and  takes  care  of  the  tip  (twenty -five  cents  apiece).  In  an  exten- 
sively staffed  house  there  may  be  a  rack  in  the  ladies'  dressing  room  under 
the  supervision  of  a  ladies'  maid.  In  the  gentlemen's  dressing  room  a  valet 
may  be  in  attendance,  but  in  any  case  tickets  are  given.  When  house  serv- 
ants perform  these  duties  they  are  not  tipped  in  this  country  unless  they 
perform  a  special  service  of  some  kind. 

Guests  approaching  the  line  give  their  names  as  "Mrs.  Smith,"  "Miss 
Brown,"  to  the  butler  or  announcer  as  they  enter  the  ballroom,  ladies  pre- 
ceding the  gentlemen  of  course.  Ladies  keep  on  their  gloves,  as  do  the  ladies 
of  the  receiving  line.  Gloves  are  removed  or  turned  back  for  refreshments. 
Hostess  and  guest  of  honor,  if  any,  stand  together  receiving  until  the  last 
guest  seems  to  have  arrived  or  until  supper  is  served— about  one  o'clock. 

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The  host,  as  at  a  wedding  reception,  stays  in  the  vicinity  of  the  line  and 
introduces  guests  to  one  another  whenever  his  kindly  offices  seem  necessary. 
He  may  actually  stay  in  the  line  briefly  early  in  the  evening.  The  hostess, 
too,  has  had  the  foresight  to  invite  a  stag  line  of  ushers,  theoretically  one 
extra  man  to  each  nine  or  ten  girls,  and  they  wear  identifying  white  bou- 
tonnieres  which  are  usually  awaiting  them  on  a  tray  in  the  hall.  Ushers  come 
early  and  stay  late  and  see  to  it  that  there  are  no  wallflowers. 

As  extra  men  are  always  welcome,  those  invited  frequently  phone  the 
hostess  and  ask  for  permission  to  bring  a  friend.  If  such  men  arrive  without 
their  sponsors  they  say  to  the  hostess  on  arrival,  "George  Whitman  asked  if 
I  might  come.  I  am  Andrew  Tierney."  Needless  to  say,  no  one,  not  even  a 
friend  of  a  friend,  should  "crash"  any  private  party.  To  prevent  this,  many 
hostesses  include  in  their  invitations  admission  cards  which  must  be  pre- 
sented at  the  door. 

As  at  all  formal  affairs,  the  "roof"  is  not  sufficient  introduction.  A  man  who 
has  not  been  introduced  to  a  girl  may  not  ask  her  to  dance,  but  of  course 
he  may  ask  someone  to  introduce  him.  An  usher  may  ask  a  girl  to  dance 
even  if  he  has  not  first  been  introduced,  but  that  is  because  he  is  an  acting 
host.  In  going  on  the  ballroom  floor  a  man  leads  the  way  through  the  crowd 
and  once  arrived  stands  ready  to  receive  his  partner.  In  crossing  the  floor 
to  leave  it  he  walks  on  the  girl's  left.  Then,  if  there  is  a  crush,  he  goes  first, 
as  in  a  restaurant  where  there  is  no  headwaiter,  to  the  group  where  he  found 
her  or  to  the  refreshment  table  or  to  her  waiting  next  partner.  He  never 
leaves  her  stranded. 

supper  At  a  formal  dance  or  ball,  supper  is  always  served  either  buffet  or  at 
small  tables  supplied  by  the  caterer.  There  are  never  place  cards,  and  guests 
seat  themselves  as  they  wish,  usually  with  friends.  A  girl's  escort  always 
takes  her  in  to  supper.  Ushers  see  to  it  that  unescorted  girls  are  seated  in 
congenial  groups  with  young  men  who  will  serve  them  supper. 

Abroad,  sometimes  the  reception  fine  re-forms  for  "good  nights"  when  it 
is  time  to  go.  But  in  this  country,  after  a  dance  or  ball,  this  might  mean  that 
the  guest  of  honor,  if  any,  might  have  to  stay  on  duty  until  dawn.  There- 
fore after  the  receiving  line  breaks  up  at  a  late  affair,  it  does  not  re-form. 
Guests  say  "good-by"  to  host  and  hostess  if  they  are  still  about  or  to  any 
member  of  the  family,  and,  of  course,  a  debutante  stays  up  until  the  last 
guest  departs. 

At  an  official  ball  no  guest  departs  before  the  guest  of  honor.  The  party 
call  after  balls  and  formal  dances  has  virtually  disappeared,  except  in 
Washington  (but,  of  course,  it  always  may  be  made).  In  Washington  guests 
leave  cards  upon  the  hostess  and  host  (if  a  man  is  calling— see  "Card 
Leaving")  within  a  week,  but  even  there  such  calls  have  become  the 
emptiest  formality.  It  is  not  unknown  for  even  a  diplomat  to  give  his  card  to 
some  trusted  cabby,  with  instructions  that  he  leave  it  at  the  hostess'  door 
within  the  stated  time.  He  doesn't  even  necessarily  bother  to  remain  seated 
in  the  cab,  himself,  any  more.  (Naturally  I  can't  endorse  such  a  procedure.) 


part  three     home  entertaining 

'at  home" 

An  "at  home"  is  a  formal  reception  of  some  kind— often  a  tea,  sometimes  a 
cocktail  party  or  even  an  evening  reception  at  which  a  buffet  meal  is  set  up. 
Cards  are  sent  to  one's  visiting  list  with  the  words  "at  Home"  written  on  the 
face  with  the  date  and  the  time  (see  page  429  for  engraved  examples).  A 
reply  is  usually  requested.  This  kind  of  entertainment  is  suitable  for  wed- 
ding anniversaries. 


CHAPTER    THIRTY-TWO 

THE  GUEST  AT  FORMAL  MEALS 

When  a  guest  receives  a  formal  invitation  to  lunch  or  dine  he  should  know 
the  procedures  of  this  kind  of  stylized  entertainment.  If  he  knows  exactly 
what  to  expect  he  can  be  at  ease.  It  is  only  the  unknown  that  tends  to  shake 
our  poise.  Let  us  examine  the  guest's  part  in  formal  entertaining. 

When  a  butler  or  waitress  is  serving  at  table,  the  persons  served  pay 
sufficient  attention  to  the  service  to  be  ready  to  take  their  portions  when 
dishes  are  presented  to  them  (from  the  left)  and,  at  a  crowded  table,  to 
move  aside,  left  or  right,  slightly,  to  aid  the  service  or  removal  of  dishes— the 
latter  virtually  always  to  the  right,  except  for  butter  plates. 

second  portions  At  formal  luncheons  or  dinners  second  portions  are  not  prop- 
erly offered  (nor  asked  for)  because  of  the  usual  multiplicity  of  courses. 
But  at  meals  where  they  are  offered,  any  guest  who  wishes  more  may 
serve  himself  from  the  proffered  dish  or  platter  even  if  other  guests  have 
abstained.  The  hostess  then  takes  at  least  a  token  amount  to  keep  him  com- 
pany, or  she  has  eaten  so  slowly  as  to  have  a  little  left  on  her  plate  from 
which  to  eat  while  any  guest  consumes  a  second  helping. 

guests  do  not  assist  Unless  asked  to  do  so  by  the  hostess,  a  guest  does  not 
assist  in  the  service  of  anything  at  the  table  while  there  are  servants  in 
attendance.  He  never  stacks  dishes  nor  hands  an  empty  plate  or  glass  to  a 
servant  but  permits  these  to  be  removed  or  replenished  for  him.  At  a  formal 
meal  there  should  be  no  need  for  those  at  the  table  to  pass  anything.  There 
should  be  salt  and  pepper,  ash  trays,  matches,  cigarettes  (if  the  hostess 
wishes)  at  every  place,  or  at  every  other  place.  Bread  or  rolls  are  passed  at 
luncheon,  or  rolls  are  in  place  on  or  in  the  napkin  at  a  formal  dinner  or  to 
the  left  of  the  plate,  if  they  are  served  at  all. 

smoking  at  table  It  is  poor  manners  for  a  guest  to  sit  down  to  a  table, 
formally  set  or  otherwise,  with  a  lighted  cigarette  in  his  hand.  At  a  formal 
table  he  may  well  find  no  place  for  the  ashes  or  finished  cigarette  (if  the 
hostess  takes  pride  in  her  cuisine)  and  will  be  forced  to  leave  the  table  with 
his  cigarette  or  ask  for  an  ash  tray.  At  formal  dinners  cigarettes  are  usually 
not  placed  on  the  table  until  the  dessert  is  served,  if  then. 

283 


the  placement  of  used  silver  is  optional— either  of  these  two  ways  best  assur- 
ing that  the  plate,  when  removed,  will  have  the  utensils  firmly  upon  it. 

greeting  servants  at  tarle  A  guest  at  table  pays  no  particular  attention  to 
the  servant  waiting  upon  him.  He  never  carries  on  a  conversation  with  even 
an  old  family  retainer  while  being  served.  He  may,  however,  quietly  say, 
"Good  evening"  or  "Good  evening,  Johnson"  (or  "Nellie")  as  the  butler, 
houseman,  or  waitress  approaches  to  serve  him,  if  this  is  the  first  time  he  has 
seen  him  (or  her)  since  entering  the  house,  and  then  only  if  he  has  been  a 
frequent  guest. 

the  token  portion  A  guest  takes  at  least  a  little  of  everything  offered  him  at 
a  formal  dinner  or  luncheon  and  makes  some  pretense  at  eating  it.  This  is 
done  so  the  attentive  host  or  hostess  will  not  imagine  he  has  been  over- 
looked in  the  presentation  of  dishes.  It  is  necessary  neither  to  eat  every  bit 
on  one's  plate  nor,  again,  to  leave  a  little  so  as  not  to  seem  gluttonous. 

placement  of  used  silver  When  a  plate  of  food  has  been  finished  or  the 
diner  has  had  all  he  wishes,  he  places  the  fork  and  knife  (but  only  if  he 
has  used  one  or  both)  on  the  right  side  of  the  plate,  sharp  side  of  the  blade 
facing  in,  the  fork  tines  up,  to  the  left  of  the  knife.  They  should  be  so 
placed  as  not  to  slide  off  as  the  plate  is  being  removed.  Dessert  spoon  and 
fork  are  placed  on  the  empty  plate,  as  they  were  when  the  plate  was  pre- 
sented, that  is,  fork  on  the  left,  spoon  on  the  right  with  tines  of  the  fork  up 
and  facing,  with  the  bowl  of  the  spoon  slightly  toward  the  center  of  the 
plate,  and  securely  enough  so  they  won't  fall  off  when  the  servant  picks  up 
the  plate.  No  used  silver  is  ever  placed  on  the  table  or  left  in  a  cup.  A  soup 
spoon  is  left  in  a  large  soup  plate.  An  iced  tea  spoon  is  left  in  the  glass  if 

284 


PART  THREE     HOME  ENTERTAINING 

no  service  plate  is  beneath.  Unused  silver  at  the  place  is  left  on  the  table, 
to  be  removed  to  a  tray  by  the  servant  before  the  dessert  course. 

crumbs  and  spilled  food  When  there  is  full  service,  crumbs  and  bits  of  bread 
are  left  on  the  tablecloth  by  the  guest  and  are  removed  by  the  servant  when 
he  or  she  crumbs  the  table.  But  if  any  semi-liquid,  such  as  a  bit  of  jelly  or 
sauce,  has  been  dropped  on  the  cloth,  the  guest,  at  the  time,  if  he  sees  it, 
quietly  retrieves  it  with  some  convenient  utensil— butter  knife,  fork,  or  dinner 
knife— and  places  it  on  the  side  of  his  plate.  If  anything  is  spilled  while  a 
guest  is  being  served,  then  the  servant  attends  to  it.  The  guest  should  make 
no  more  than  a  murmured  apology,  if  any,  and  the  hostess  should  take  no 
notice  of  it  except,  if  necessary,  to  instruct  the  servant  in  the  proper  proce- 
dure. In  the  case  of  a  spilled  beverage,  it  may  be  necessary  for  the  servant 
to  remove  the  place  setting  and  put  down  a  clean  linen  napkin  over  the  cloth 
or  replace  the  mat  with  a  fresh  one.  But  on  either  side,  the  accident  should 
be  minimized  as  much  as  possible. 

presentation  of  the  finger  bowl  Finger  bowls  are  rarely  seen  in  under- 
staffed or  unstaffed  households  these  days,  but  of  course  still  do  make  their 
appearance  in  homes  where  perfect  service  is  still  possible.  (It  is  interesting 
that  as  early  as  the  thirteenth  century  silver  finger  bowls  were  presented 
with  flowered  linen  towels.)  They  are  filled  three-quarters  full  with  coid 
water  and  placed  on  the  table  in  either  of  two  ways,  one  of  which  requires 
the  slight  co-operation  of  the  guest. 

If  the  finger  bowl  on  the  dessert  plate  and,  if  one  is  used,  decorative  doily 
(never  paper)  is  placed  before  a  guest  with  dessert  silver  on  each  side,  the 
guest  is  expected  to  lift  bowl  and  doily  and  small  glass  plate,  if  any,  adroitly 
with  the  right  hand  and  place  it  in  front  and  slightly  to  the  left  of  his  place 
setting.  He  then  removes  the  silver  and  places  it,  fork  left  and  spoon  right 
of  the  plate.  If  the  finger  bowl  is  presented  with  no  silver  flanking  it,  this 
indicates  that  there  is  no  further  course  and  the  guest  does  not  remove  it 
from  the  plate.  Very  occasionally,  a  small  underplate  on  the  dessert  plate, 
topped  by  doily  and  finger  bowl,  is  intended  for  use.  For  example,  straw, 
berries  Romanoff  is  a  difficult  dessert  for  a  flat  plate.  The  menu  or  the 
hostess  gives  the  cue. 

In  using  a  finger  bowl,  the  guest  dips  in  the  fingers  of  one  hand,  then  ol 
the  other,  lightly,  then  dries  them  on  the  napkin  on  his  lap,  but  all  so  briefly 
as  to  avoid  the  impression  that  this  is  a  serious  ablution.  He  may,  too,  oi 
course,  touch  his  lips  with  his  moistened  fingers,  then  pat  his  lips  lightly 
with  his  napkin,  which  he  then  places,  unfolded  and  unarranged,  to  the 
right  of  his  place.  He  never  leaves  it  on  his  chair  or  tosses  it  onto  a  plate. 

Finger  bowls,  even  without  service,  are  almost  necessary  after  the  serving 
of  boiled  or  broiled  lobster  or  steamed  clams.  In  this  case,  they  are  filled 
three-quarters  full  with  warm  water,  often  with  a  slice  or  half -slice  of  lemon 
in  it  (but  only  in  this  instance,  though  flower  petals  or  tiny  blown-glass  fish, 
etc.,  are  often  used  at  the  end  of  the  meal  in  finger  bowls). 

285 


rHE  signal  to  rise  As  coffee  is  not  served  at  the  table  to  gentlemen  and  ladies 
together  at  a  formal  dinner,  the  guest  should  be  ready  for  the  hostess'  signal 
to  rise  at  the  end  of  the  fruit  course.  (See  "Service  of  Formal  Dinner.")  If  the 
gentlemen  stay  in  the  dining  room  for  coffee,  cigars,  pipes,  and  liqueurs  they 
move  up  in  a  companionable  circle  near  the  host— and  all  stay.  For  one 
robustious  Lothario  to  make  off  after  the  ladies  is  considered  bad  conduct. 
And  in  equally  poor  taste  is  the  young  lady  who  leaves  the  gentlemen  with 
a  reluctant  backward  glance.  Needless  to  say,  if  the  gentlemen  move  on  to 
the  library  for  coffee  no  lady  allows  herself  to  be  persuaded  to  join  them. 
Historically,  the  stories  that  are  sometimes  told  at  these  stag  moments  after 
dinner  are  unfit  for  shell-like  ears,  and,  at  any  rate,  the  other  ladies  would 
frigidly  resent  such  a  defection.  As  insurance,  perhaps,  against  any  such 
encroachment  on  masculine  preserves,  the  doors  were  locked  upon  the 
gentlemen  after  dinner  in  the  early  nineteenth  century,  and  it  is  said  many 
never  did  eventually  "join  the  ladies." 


CHAPTER    THIRTY-THREE 

THE  RITUAL  OF  DRINKING 


WHAT    KIND    OF    DRINKS    FOR    GUESTS 

If  you  are  having  people  to  dinner,  mix  only  one  kind  of  cocktail  and  offer,  in 
addition,  sherry,  and  scotch  or  bourbon  or  rye  and  soda— with  vegetable  or 
fruit  juice  for  possible  teetotalers.  Old-fashioneds  are  a  nuisance  to  fix  for 
more  than  four  of  five.  The  safest  choice  seems  to  be  martinis,  which  have 
the  virtue  of  being  relatively  inexpensive,  more  or  less  foolproof  as  to  con- 
coction, and  mixable  well  in  advance.  In  fact,  they  may  be  bottled  and 
stored  full-strength  for  a  week  or  more  in  the  refrigerator— but  don't  bother 
to  save  diluted  ones.  They  may  also  be  varied— a  tiny  pearl  onion  in  the 
glass  instead  of  the  usual  unstuffed  olive  makes  a  gibson. 

A  martini  should  always  be  dry,  never  sweet.  It  should  have  a  twist  of 
lemon  peel  in  the  container  in  which  the  martini  is  stirred,  or  the  peel  may 
be  twisted  over  each  glass  so  a  bit  of  oil  drops  in.  Some  experts  insist  that 
the  ingredients  be  stirred  all  in  one  direction  with  the  cracked  ice— never 
shaken— but  as  I,  with  many  another  woman,  am  unenthusiastic  about  mar- 
tinis (except  for  their  convenience),  I  cannot  say  whether  this  is  really 
vital.  I  have  even  seen  a  very  knowledgeable  gentleman  of  the  old  school 
shake  his  martinis  vigorously,  with  a  loud  snort  at  all  the  talk  that  they 
must  be  stirred. 

A  prominentiy  placed  home  bar,  with  the  makings  of  a  wide  variety  of 

286 


PAHT  THREE      HOME  ENTERTAINING 

drinks  on  demand  and  a  host  who  can  oblige,  takes  away  the  emphasis  on 
dinner  and  puts  it  untastefully  on  what  should  be  only  an  incidental  pro- 
cedure. Only  at  a  really  large  party  should  more  than  one  kind  of  cocktail 
be  served  at  home,  and  then  the  host  is  usually  not  acting  as  bartender. 

Esoteric  cocktails  should  be  avoided  at  dinner  parties  unless  you  are  cer- 
tain your  guests  have  such  preferences.  An  alexander,  for  example,  would  be 
a  poor  choice,  especially  with  men  present.  Fancy  mixed  drinks  are  usually 
frowned  on  by  men,  though  beloved  of  some  women  who  like  to  order  them 
in  restaurants.  But  the  standard  cocktails  are  the  wisest  choice— and  don't  let 
the  person  who  mixes  them  do  so  without  following  an  exact  formula. 
Nothing  is  so  horrid  as  a  martini  with  too  much  vermouth  or  an  old-fashioned 
with  too  much  bitters.  A  bacardi  or  daiquiri  that  is  sickish-sweet  will  kill 
appetites  for  the  best-conceived  dinner. 

Generally,  gin  and  rum  cocktails  are  preferred  in  hot  weather  to  whisky 
cocktails.  Eggnog  is  a  cold  weather  specialty  and  is  not  served  before  dinner. 
It  is  an  afternoon  drink,  always  served  with  fruit  cake  and  sweet  biscuits, 
usually  on  New  Year's  Day. 

Such  drinks  as  hot  buttered  rum,  glog,  hot  spiced  wine  are  winter 
between-meal  drinks  often  served  after  outdoor  sports.  They  do  not  properly 
precede  dinner. 

Rum-and-Cola,  torn  collins,  punch  (milk  punch  perhaps  excepted),  bishop, 
bowles,  swizzles,  juleps,  spiced  wines  are  afternoon  or  evening  libations,  not 
appetizers  before  dinner.  Stingers  are  served  liqueur-fashion  as  a  digestive 
after  dinner. 

You  make  no  mistake  when  you  choose  one  of  the  following  cocktails  to 
serve  before  a  dinner  party— martini,  bacardi,  or  daiquiri  (especially  in  sum- 
mer), whisky  sours  (good  any  time  and  well-liked  by  both  sexes),  manhat- 
tans  and  old-fashioneds  (with  a  minimum  of  garnish  for  male  tastes). 

Cracked  ice— easy  to  make  with  a  canvas  bar  bag  and  mallet  or  a  little 
ice-cracking  machine— makes  cocktails  cold  fast  without  undue  dilution.  It  is 
preferable  to  ice  in  cubes  but  is  not  used  in  most  tall  drinks.  One  exception 
is  the  julep,  which  requires  crushed  ice  and  plenty  of  it. 


MAINLY    ABOUT    WINES 

The  subject  of  wines  is  a  fascinating  one— so  fascinating  that  mountains  of 
material  have  been  written  on  it,  thus  frightening  more  than  instructing,  I 
sometimes  think. 

In  Victorian  days  no  gendeman  of  fashion  could  possibly  be  ignorant  of 
all  the  fine  points  of  vintage  and  temperature,  vintner  and  endroit  of  the 
wines  at  his  table.  He  kept  a  proper  wine  cellar  and  tended,  or  had  tended, 
each  precious  bottle  on  schedule.  He  knew  enough  not  to  permit  his  butler 
to  wipe  off  a  fine  old,  dusty  bottle  of,  say,  Chateau  Mouton  Rothschild  of  a 
superlative  year  and  wrap  it  in  a  napkin  to  hide  the  details  of  its  lineage 
from  interested  diners.   (None  but  a  possibly  dripping  champagne  bottle 

a%7 


should  be  served  wrapped  in  a  napkin.  Red  wines  never  are.)  His  fine  sedi- 
mented  wines  were  kept  on  their  sides  at  proper  temperature  and  never  put 
upright  even  before  service.  They  could  be  decanted  into  beautiful  clear  glass 
decanters,  slowly  after  the  cork  had  been  eased— not  yanked  out— until  the 
sediment  was  reached.  Or  they  could  be  poured  from  a  cradle  or  wine 
basket  that  held  the  bottle  almost  horizontal  so  that  wine  and  sediment 
would  not  mix.  Some  experts,  however,  say  a  sedimented  wine  may  rest 
upright  half  an  hour  before  serving,  if  no  basket  is  available. 

The  table  wines  are  those  served  at  meals.  The  reds  range  from  the 
hearty,  full-bodied  French  burgundies  (in  infinite  variety),  the  more  deli- 
cate, ruby  red,  tart  clarets  to  the  blushing  vin  rose,  so  light  in  body  that, 
unlike  the  others  which  are  served  at  room  temperature  or  slightly  warm, 
it  is  chilled  and  thus  is  most  agreeable  in  warm  weather.  Of  the  myriad 
American  varieties  of  dark  red  full-bodied  wine,  most  with  French  names, 
not  all,  naturally,  are  burgundy,  though  burgundy  they  are  often  commonly 
called  merely  because  they  are  red.  I  think  it  is  advisable  to  know  a  little 
more  than  that  about  wines.  The  major  wine  merchants  are  interested  in 
improving  your  wine  education.  Go  to  one  and  ask  him  to  explain  to  you 
the  fine  points  of  difference  in  the  red  wines.  Compare  those  pressed  from 
the  cabernet,  the  true  grape  of  French  clarets,  with  the  delicate  bouquet  of 
some  of  the  fine  table  wines  from  vintners  in  California's  Livermore,  Napa, 
Soma,  and  San  Bernardino  Valleys. 

dry  reds  The  dry  red  wines  are  those  whose  sugar  content  is  low— red  chianti, 
berbera  are  among  the  many  types.  These  are  preferable  for  service  during 
main  courses,  although  sweet  red  wines,  and  even  some  of  the  sweet  sau- 
ternes,  are  said  to  be  becoming  popular  in  America  as  dinner  wines— but 
mainly,  I  suspect,  in  the  less  pretentious  restaurants  and,  I  suspect,  too,  at 
the  insistence  of  the  ladies.  But  people  who  know  food— and  wines— will 
tell  you  that  a  sweet  wine  served  before  or  during  a  meal  takes  the  edge  off 
the  appetite  and  so  defeats  a  dry  wine's  whole  function,  that  is,  to  supple- 
ment rather  than  overshadow  the  food. 

dry  whites  It  has  become  acceptable  in  our  more  simplified  way  of  living  to 
serve  one  dry  white  wine  throughout  a  meal,  even  as  an  accompaniment  to 
red  meat.  But  on  a  more  elaborate  basis  for  dinner  it  is  pleasant  and  formal 
to  serve  sherry  with  the  soup,  a  dry  white  wine— perhaps  hock  or  chablis— 
with  the  fish,  chicken,  brains,  sweetbreads,  or  seafood,  and  a  dry  red  or 
sparkling  burgundy  with  red  meat,  duck,  goose,  or  game. 

At  luncheon  the  one-wine  theme  is  delightfully  carried  out  with  an 
alsatian,  a  moselle,  a  white  chianti,  or  white  orvieto,  all  imported.  Or  their 
American  counterparts— reisling,  sylvaner,  scuppernong,  semillion,  pinot 
blanc,  traminer,  and  the  Ohio  and  New  York  State  white  wines— all  merit 
consideration  as  do  the  South  American  rhine  types  and,  of  course,  the  true 
rhines,  of  which  some,  like  liebfraumilch,  are  worth  much  penny-scrimping 
in  other  directions. 

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sweet  reds  The  sweet  red  wines  are  dessert  and  between-meal  wines.  They 
include  port  (excellent  with  nuts  and  cheese),  the  sweet  sherries  (neither 
of  which  are  ever  referred  to,  by  the  way,  as  sherry  wine  or  port  wine), 
muscatel  and  madeira. 

sweet  whites  The  sweet  white  dessert  wines  include  malaga,  semidry  cham- 
pagnes, white  port  from  Oporto,  Portugal  (very  delicious  and  not  enough 
known),  tokay  and  angelica,  an  American  dessert  wine  originated  in  Cali- 
fornia. 

And  then  there  are  the  delicious  homemade  wines,  white  and  red,  whose 
acquaintance  should  be  made  by  those  gentlemen  who  enjoy  showing  off 
their  culinary  talents.  What  better  way  than  to  learn  to  make  grandmother's 
dandelion,  elderberry,  or  blackberry  wine,  or  even  to  brew  a  real,  authorita- 
tive ginger  beer,  English  style?  Old  cookbooks  give  all  the  essential 
directions. 

filtered  domestics  Some  American  wines  are  excellent,  some  poor— just  as 
some  imported  varieties  from  the  wine  countries  fit  into  both  categories. 
Judicious  experimentation  is  highly  recommended  so  you  may  find  what 
wines  suit  your  needs,  your  palate,  and  your  pocketbook  most  adequately. 
Experts  tell  us  that  there  is  less  sedimentation  in  American  red  wines  but 
that  this  isn't  to  their  credit,  as  overfiltering  to  remove  the  sediment  robs 
them  of  some  of  their  character. 

wines  in  place  of  cocktails  The  true  gourmet  is  horrified  at  the  blatancy  of 
cocktails  before  exquisitely  planned  and  executed  meals.  He  much  prefers 
wine  with  canapes,  foie  gras,  or  caviar.  Chablis— really  a  French  white  bur- 
gundy—is commendable  in  place  of  cocktails,  as  is  a  chilled  dry  (American— 
the  French  ones  are  sweet)  sauterne.  Most  elegant,  of  course,  is  champagne, 
straight  if  it's  the  best  imported,  as  a  champagne  cocktail  if  it  lacks  final 
excellence.  Any  of  these,  including  the  champagne,  may  be  refrigerator 
cooled  at  about  45°  for  home  service,  as  this  is  a  less  drippy  procedure.  And 
a  partly  used  bottle  of  champagne  or  any  other  white  wine,  restoppered  with 
a  different  cork  will  keep  for  weeks  in  the  refrigerator,  and  even  champagne 
will  stay  lively  for  days  the  same  way  (and  good  for  champagne  cocktails), 
though  such  refrigerated  wines  should  not  be  allowed  to  freeze. 

Partly  used  bottles  of  red  wine  should  be  recorked  and  kept  in  a  cool 
place,  rather  than  in  the  refrigerator.  If  they  start  to  turn  sour  before  they 
can  be  used,  never  discard  them  but  permit  them  to  turn  to  wine  vinegar. 
A  little  from  a  bottle  of  wine  vinegar  added  to  leftover  dry  red  wine  will 
start  the  vinegaring  process. 

Port,  sherry,  and  madeira  are  all  available  dry,  as  well  as  sweet,  and  the 
dry  types  are  all  suitable  for  service  in  place  of  cocktails.  A  good  dry  sherry 
is  usually  served  from  a  chilled  bottle  rather  than  from  the  decanter  at 
cocktail  time. 

Both  dry  port  and  sherry  are  good  with  bitters— orange  or  Angostura— in 
place  of  a  cocktail.  Dubonnet  and  vermouth  at  room  temperature  and  served 

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with  a  twist  of  lemon  peel  appeal  to  many  palates,  as  does  Amer  Picon,  but 
Dubonnet  may  be  served  frappe,  i.e.,  with  finely  crushed  ice  in  a  cocktail 
glass,  and  the  vermouth  makes  an  attractive  pompier  highball,  or  vermouth 
cassis,  to  those  who  prefer  appetizers  low  in  alcoholic  content.  A  vermouth 
cassis  is  made  with  1/2  to  3  ozs.  of  French  dry  vermouth  (it's  the  Italian 
that's  sweet  and  which  is  not  good  alone  as  an  appetizer)  plus  ¥2  oz.  of 
creme  de  cassis  (a  French  currant  juice  liqueur)  plus  lump-ice  and  club 
soda,  in  a  small  thin  highball  glass  filled  %  full  and  gently  stirred. 

In  some  South  American  countries  a  cocktail  party  is  called  "a  vermouth," 
and  vermouth  you  get— no  cocktails! 

storage  of  wines  All  table  wines  should  be  stored  on  their  sides,  to  keep  their 
corks  moist  (and  uncrumbling),  in  a  cool  cupboard,  away  from  the  light 
and  from  steam  pipes.  A  wooden  wine  rack  to  hold  them  reduces  chance 
of  breakage,  but  they  can  be  placed  sidewise  on  narrow  shelves  of  any  kind. 

what  kind  of  glasses  You  may  be  the  possessor  of  your  grandmother's  be- 
nobbed  and  overlaid  green  hock  glasses  or  handsome  ruby  wines  and  will  cer- 
tainly want  to  use  them.  But  any  connoisseur  of  wines  will  hold  out  for  the 
use  of  clear  thin  glass  for  all  wines,  as  wine  itself  is  sufficient  decoration. 
The  table  wines  should  be  served  preferably  in  a  fairly  large  glass— just  under 
goblet  size  and  more  than  twice  cocktail  size.  They  should  be  shaped  to 
bunch  the  bouquet  under  the  nostrils— in  other  words,  the  rim  should  be 
narrower  than  the  base  of  the  bowl  with  the  exception  of  v-shaped  (they 
needn't  be  this  shape— any  3-oz.  stemmed  glass  will  do)  sherry  glasses, 
which,  by  the  way,  are  the  only  ones  to  be  filled  almost  to  the  brim.  Others 
are  filled  about  one  half  or  two  thirds  to  permit  the  inhalation  of  the  bouquet. 
Champagne  glasses  are  best  without  hollow  stems,  which  are  decorative 
but  which  permit  the  warming  of  the  drink,  as  a  chilled  white  wine  is  always 
grasped  by  the  stem.  (Red  wine  is  drunk  with  the  hand  grasping  the  bowl.) 

to  decant  or  not  Sherry  served  with  soup  or  between  meals  (this  the  sweeter 
type)  may  be  decanted,  though  service  from  a  good  bottle  is  always  right, 
too.  Tequilla,  aquavit  and  vodka  (not  wines,  of  course,  but  served  often 
enough  straight  from  the  refrigerator,  ice-cold  as  an  appetizer)  are  not 
decanted. 

Claret,  madeira,  and  port  may  be  decanted,  though  many  like  the  appear- 
ance of  the  bottle— especially  if  the  vintner's  name  means  anything.  All  but 
the  claret  (unstopper  this,  by  the  way,  an  hour  before  serving)  are  safe  in 
the  decanter  almost  indefinitely,  though  sherry  may  begin  to  cloud  up  if 
decanted  and  not  kept  fairly  cool. 

Burgundy  is  not  decanted  but  served  from  a  wine  cradle  or  at  least  from 
its  side  if  it  is  an  imported,  sedimented  type.  It  should  be  brought  into  the 
room  and  unstoppered  an  hour  before  serving.  American  filtered  types  may 
be  served  decanted  or  from  an  upright  bottle.  Sparkling  burgundy  is  served 
at  room  temperature  in  its  <">wn  bottle,  upright  like  champagne.  In  very  hot 

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weather  these  wines  are  served  "cellar"  temperature,  cooler  than  the  room, 
though  not  chilled. 

White  sparkling  wines  are  served  from  their  own  bottles,  upright  and 
slightly  cold  but  not  chilled. 

Liqueurs  are  served  at  room  temperature  with  the  exception  of  creme  de 
menthe  (green  or  white),  which  is  served  frappe  or  in  a  stinger,  though  any 
cordial,  especially  a  fruit  one,  may  be  served  frappe,  especially  for  ladies, 
or  for  all  in  the  summertime— try  Southern  Comfort  or  Cointreau  frappe,  for 
example. 

pouring  A  decanted  wine  may  be  poured  first  into  a  guest's  glass— though  host 
should  check  flavor  sometime  before  serving.  An  undecanted  wine,  which 
might  harbor  traces  of  cork,  is  poured— just  a  little  of  it— into  the  glass  of  the 
host  or,  if  there  is  no  host,  into  that  of  the  hostess  to  drain  off  bits  of  cork, 
if  any.  Host  or  hostess  left  with  bits  of  cork  in  his  or  her  glass  is  not  expected 
to  finish  the  pouring  on  top  of  cork  after  others  have  been  served.  A  servant, 
if  present,  pours  off  the  bit  of  wine-with-cork,  or  if  there  is  no  servant  the 
cork-receiver  may  carefully  lift  out  the  offending  bits  with,  say,  the  blade  of 
a  clean  knife  or  a  spoon  and  lay  the  bits  on  the  side  of  his  plate.  Or  he  rises, 
glass  in  hand,  and  empties  the  offending  inch  in  the  bar  or  kitchen. 

to  prevent  spillinc  To  prevent  spilling  a  drop  of  wine  on  the  tablecloth  when 
pouring  from  a  bottle,  give  the  bottle  a  deft  little  twist  before  lifting  the 
mouth  away  from  the  glass.  The  bottle  mouth  may  also  be  wiped  with  a 
clean  napkin  between  servings. 

TOASTS 

Weddings,  christenings,  bachelor  dinners,  engagement  parties  are  always 
occasions  for  toasts.  But  there  are  other  occasions— formal  dinners,  anniver- 
saries, birthday  parties,  intimate  dinners— where  men,  in  particular,  may 
wish  to  propose  a  toast.  While  it  is  nice  to  be  able  to  extemporize  gracefully 
on  such  occasions  as  the  rare  man  can,  it  is  pleasant  to  know  most  of  the 
standard  toasts  and  to  be  able  to  tender  them  with  ease. 

The  person  toasted,  if  present  and  if  not  the  President  of  the  U.S.  or 
other  high  dignitary,  usually  returns  a  toast.  A  woman,  except  when  she  is 
a  bride,  usually  accepts  the  compliment  of  the  toast  simply  with  a  smile  and 
lowered  eyes,  remaining  seated  if  the  others  stand  and  holding  her  wine, 
but  not  sipping  it  until  the  toast  has  been  drunk.  In  fact,  the  person  toasted 
never  touches  the  drink  to  his  or  her  lips  until  the  others  have  drunk  the 
toast,  otherwise  he  or  she  would  be  drinking  to  himself  or  herself,  an  im- 
modest procedure. 

A  man  drinking  a  toast  across  the  table  to  his  dinner  companion  may  do 
so  merely  by  catching  her  eye  and  raising  his  glass.  He  doesn't  rise  unless 
others  are  at  the  table  and  there  is  a  real  occasion— such  as  her  birthday— to 
propose  a  toast  to  the  lady.  If  the  two  are  alone  the  gentleman  may  actually 
say  the  words  of  some  gay  little  toast,  "A  vos  beaux  yeux  [To  your  pretty 

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face]"  or  suggest  they  drink  together  "To  a  wonderful  evening"  or  "To  happy 
times." 

A  dinner  chairman  at,  say,  the  Democratic  National  Committee  dinner 
would  propose  the  first  toast  to  the  President.  The  President,  if  present, 
merely  remains  seated  and  bows  slightly  in  recognition  of  the  standing  toast 
by  the  others. 

Important  toasts,  to  rulers,  to  the  President,  to  a  bride,  etc.,  are  properly 
drained  at  one  drink.  The  glasses  used  often  to  be  thrown  in  the  fireplace 
or  at  least  snapped  at  the  delicate  stem,  but  today  no  dishonor  to  the  toasted 
one  occurs  when  the  glasses  are,  sensibly,  left  intact.  It  is,  by  the  way,  rude 
to  the  point  of  insult  to  refuse  to  drink  a  toast  to  anyone.  If  you  can't  drink 
wine,  you  pretend  to  do  so.  A  toast  with  water  is  no  toast  at  all.  It  is  not 
really  correct  to  toast  with  cocktails,  but  a  toast  with  punch  or  beer,  ale  or 
whisky  is  usual. 

In  England  some  drinks  still  have  a  bit  of  toast  placed  in  them  in  the 
traditional  style.  In  drinking  a  toast,  one  had  to  drain  the  cup  to  get  the 
"toast,"  which,  saturated  with  the  drink,  sank  to  the  bottom.  Toasting  is  a 
very  old  custom,  indeed,  predating  the  Caesars. 

Many  charming  toasts  to  women  are  in  French  or  other  foreign  languages 
because  toasting  is  the  expected  thing  abroad,  relatively  unusual— except  for 
special  occasions— here.  If  you  can't  master  a  toast  in  a  foreign  language  so 
it  sounds  the  way  it  should,  don't  attempt  it— translate  it  into  English,  and 
it  will  be  appreciated  just  as  much.  But  it  is  convenient  to  understand  what 
these  familiar  toasts  in  other  languages  mean.  In  addition  to  the  one  I've 
given,  there  are  many  more,  often  heard.  Commonest  are: 
"A  votre  sante!"  (Fr.)  "To  your  health!"— suitable  for  anyone,  of  course. 
"Skoal!"  (Swed.)-"Your  health!" 
"Prost!"  or  "Prosit!"  (G.)-"To  your  health!" 
"Here's  to  your  good  health  and  your  family's  good  health,  and  may  you  all 

live  long  and  prosper!"— from  "Rip  Van  Winkle,"  by  Washington  Irving. 
"May  you  live  all  the  days  of  your  life !"— Swift. 

FIVE  REASONS  FOR  DRINKING 

If  all  be  true  that  I  do  think, 
There  are  five  reasons  we  should  drink: 
Good  wine— a  friend— or  being  dry— 
Or  lest  we  should  be,  by  and  by— 
Or  any  other  reason  why! 

—HENRY    ALDRICH,    C.    1700 

At  a  small  private  dinner  a  toast  may  be  informally  proposed  by  anyone 
as  soon  as  the  first  wine  has  been  poured.  The  company  stands  only  if  the 
toaster  rises.  More  than  one  toast  may  now  be  drunk  with  the  same  glass  oi 
wine— though  a  toast  in  champagne  is  often  drained  at  one  drink,  especially 
at  wedding  receptions.  Toasts  are  not  drunk  with  liqueurs,  although  the  des- 
sert wines,  sweet  sherry,  port,  marsala,  or  angelica,  would  be  suitable. 

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At  public  dinners  toasts  are  not  proposed  until  the  end  of  the  meal  just 
before  the  speaking  begins.  The  first  toast  is  proposed  by  the  toastmaster, 
and  others  may  be  proposed— with  his  permission— by  honored  guests  at  the 
dais  but  not  by  members  of  the  general  assembly. 


CHAPTER    THIRTY-FOUR 

ENTERTAINING  INDOORS 


I  never  fail  to  be  somewhat  alarmed  at  the  extent  of  my  correspondence 
from  people  who  want  to  know  how  to  entertain  their  guests  after  dinner  or 
luncheon.  "What  games  should  we  play?"  they  ask. 

Now  an  occasional  game  of  bridge,  canasta,  mah-jongg  (which  still  has  its 
devotees),  backgammon,  or  even  poker  can  be  enjoyable  if  everyone  is  in 
the  mood,  but  certainly  I'd  like  to  be  warned  before  accepting  an  invitation 
to  dinner  that  it  is  to  be  followed  by  serious  bridge.  I  wouldn't  want  any 
hostess  to  count  on  me  for  a  fourth,  for  I  asserted  myself  concerning  ritualis- 
tic parlor  games  long  ago. 

The  best  after-meal  entertainment  though  is  stimulating  conversation.  Con- 
stant, organized  card  playing  can  kill  off  any  attempt  at  conversation  in  a 
group  of  people  who  regularly  see  each  other.  They  may  have  their  bridge 
luncheons  and  suppers  for  years  and  never  really  get  to  know  each  other  at 
all  or  get  very  much  out  of  such  meetings. 

Of  course,  the  nervous  hostess  and  the  awkward,  inexperienced  host  are 
terrified  of  just  an  evening  of  "conversation."  They  feel  they  must  do  some- 
thing. They  rush  around  filling  glasses,  dumping  ash  trays,  pulling  up  chairs, 
fiddling  with  the  radio  dials,  or,  willy-nilly,  turning  on  the  television. 

The  good  hostess  is  careful  to  invite  people  who  have  some  common 
thread  of  interest.  She  tries  to  have  one,  at  least,  known  to  be  an  eager 
conversationalist.  Even  if  he  spends  the  evening  talking  interestingly  about 
himself,  he  can  save  the  evening  in  a  group  of  semi-mutes.  People  are  al- 
ways at  their  best,  anyway,  talking  about  themselves  and  their  experiences. 
The  adept  hostess  knows  how  to  get  them  going  and  how,  when  others  grow 
restless,  to  turn  the  conversation  so  that  everyone  else  gets  a  chance  to  put 
in  his  oar.  Above  all,  a  hostess  should  not,  herself,  feel  she  must  provide  all 
the  conversation,  no  matter  how  witty  or  erudite— or  capable  at  conversa- 
tion—she is.  The  essence  of  good  conversation  is  to  get  others  to  talk. 


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CONVERSATION 

The  talk-talk  kind  of  conversation  does  little  but  fill  time  better  left  unfilled. 
The  chatterbox,  usually  feminine,  rattles  on  very  often  because  she  is  really 
ill  at  ease  socially  and  in  this  way  tries  to  make  herself  felt. 

In  conversation  it  is  not  really  necessary  to  have  a  ready  opinion  on 
everything.  On  the  contrary,  good  conversation  develops  opinions  and  thus 
depends  on  an  ability  to  listen  as  well  as  to  express  oneself. 

The  bane  of  every  hostess'  life  is  the  guest  who  falls  into  complete  silence, 
who  won't  be  brought  into  a  conversation,  but  who,  on  the  other  hand,  re- 
mains in  the  company.  Such  people  feel  shy,  superior,  or  plain  tired,  I  have 
often  found,  and  should  not  be  forced  into  conversations  they  are  plainly 
trying  to  avoid.  Often  they  enjoy  themselves  just  listening,  or  they  will 
suddenly  come  alert  and  make  an  interesting  contribution  later  on. 

An  ability  to  converse  comes  with  general  social  ease.  The  relaxed  person, 
comfortable  in  his  surroundings,  is  able  to  parry  the  conversational  ball  with 
little  assistance.  He  should  be  himself  and  not  try  to  fit  his  conversation  in 
some  stilted  way  to  the  company.  If  he  finds  himself  well  beyond  his  intel- 
lectual depth  he  can  be  an  alert  listener  and  he  can  ask  a  question  now  and 
then.  His  companions  will  usually  be  only  too  pleased  to  enlighten  him. 

A  host  and  hostess  should  try  to  develop  skill  in  bringing  out  their  guests 
conversationally.  They  should  know,  or  find  out,  the  interests  and  hobbies  of 
each  and  bring  together  those  with  kindred  interests.  From  then  on  they 
keep  the  conversational  fires  kindled  by  helping  the  quieter  guests  to  ex- 
press themselves  from  time  to  time. 

A  hostess  should  never  try  too  hard  to  get  her  party  going.  If  she  relaxes 
and  lets  her  guests  become  acquainted,  general  and  group  conversation  will 
normally  develop.  I  know  one  hostess  who  carried  clenched,  in  one  hand, 
a  little  black  notebook  containing  the  tag  lines  of  what  she  deemed  appro- 
priate stories.  Whenever  a  lull  came  in  conversation  she  would  leaf  nervously 
through  it  and  come  up  with  a  story.  She  succeeded  only  in  making  her 
ineptness  as  a  hostess  even  more  apparent. 

No  two  evenings  of  conversation  are  ever  alike,  even  with  the  same  people. 
An  open  fire,  the  preliminary  of  a  good  dinner,  music  perhaps,  the  little 
ceremony  of  evening  refreshments— all  help  to  make  people  comfortable 
together  and  expansive. 

ICE    BREAKERS 

Occasionally,  however,  even  the  most  astute  hostess  will  find  gathered  under 
her  roof— perhaps  at  a  birthday  party  where  relatives  and  friends  are  of  vary- 
ing ages— a  group  of  people  it  is  difficult  to  entertain.  In  this  circumstance 
games  are  often  very  helpful  as  ice  breakers.  "The  Game"  is  very  popular 
even  among  intellectuals.  "Ghosts"  is  also  entertaining.  I  remember  playing 
it  when  our  electric  power  went  off  for  four  days  and  we  wearied  of  trying 
to  read  by  candle,  lamp,  and  flashlight.  Even  a  spelling  bee  can  be  fun  in  a 

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large  crowd  of  young  and  old.  A  book  of  games  is  probably  an  excellent 
addition  to  anyone's  home  library. 

MUSIC    IN    THE    EVENING 

Good  music  is  often  a  stimulus  to  conversation  if  it  is  kept  in  the  background. 
If  everyone,  or  nearly  everyone,  is  interested  in  music,  classical  or  otherwise, 
the  hostess  may  ask  if  certain  records  or  special  programs  will  be  welcome. 
Then  conversation  may— or  may  not— cease.  Many  a  delightful  evening  with 
friends  can  be  spent  with  hardly  a  word  exchanged  if  all  are  listening  to 
music. 

Few  people  can  or  want  to  talk  against  the  blare  of  the  radio  or  the  glare 
and  chatter  of  the  television  screen.  If  you  plan  an  evening  of  radio,  bridge, 
poker,  or  television,  say  so  and  give  any  guests  who  prefer  a  different 
evening  the  opportunity  to  leave  approximately  one  hour  after  dinner. 

TELEVISION 

The  hostess  with  a  television  set  should  never  assume  that  her  guests  are 
willing  or  eager  to  look  at  it.  It  is  safer  to  assume  that  callers  came  to  talk 
with  their  friends,  not  to  enjoy  their  television.  They  probably  have  a  set  at 
home  they  could  have  turned  on. 

If  unexpected  guests  arrive  during  the  course  of  a  telecast  that  the  family 
is  obviously  enjoying,  the  hostess  may  say,  "We  like  this  program  and  look 
at  it  each  week,  so  I  hate  to  shut  it  off,  but  perhaps  you  would  like  to  see  it? 
If  not,  let's  go  into  another  room  and  any  of  the  others  who  care  to  may 
join  us."  It  is  certainly  not  fair,  for  example,  to  drag  father  away  from  a 
championship  boxing  match,  if  that's  what  he's  glued  to,  to  help  entertain 
Mr.  and  Mrs.  George,  who  just  dropped  in  from  the  next  block.  What 
probably  happens  is  that  Mrs.  George  and  the  hostess  retire  from  the  din 
and  the  two  men  have  their  television. 

If  the  hostess,  on  the  other  hand,  has  television  in  mind  as  a  means  of 
entertaining  expected  guests,  she  should  tell  them  so  in  advance.  If  they 
consider  a  whole  evening  of  watching  television  lost,  they  have  an  oppor- 
tunity to  refuse  the  invitation.  They  wouldn't  hesitate  to  say  they  don't  feel 
like  a  movie.  They  may  even  be  quite  frank  and  say,  "We  hardly  ever  turn 
on  our  own  set,  except  for  a  program  or  two  we  occasionally  enjoy.  Please 
ask  us  some  other  time  when  you're  planning  something  else." 

Guests  who  do  accept  a  television  invitation  are  ill-mannered,  however, 
if  once  settled  they  keep  up  a  continuous  chatter  that  prevents  the  others 
from  hearing  what's  going  on.  Trying  to  keep  up  conversation  while  watch- 
ing television  is  impossible.  They  should  be  still  and  look  and  listen  or 
remove  themselves  thence. 

BRIDGE 

If  it  is  agreeable  to  a  majority  of  the  guests— enough  to  make  up  tables— 
to  play  bridge  after  dinner,  the  tables  are  set  up  as  needed  half  an  hour 

295 


or  more  after  coffee  has  been  served.  It  is  always  best,  when  possible,  to  put 
the  bridge  players  off  by  themselves  in  another  room  if  at  least  half  the 
guests  prefer  to  talk.  If  space  permits,  the  tables  can  be  set  up  during  dinner 
and  placed  in  such  a  way  that  it  doesn't  seem  essential  for  every  guest  to 
take  part.  It  is  quite  possible  for  two  or  more  guests  not  wishing  to  play  to 
have  a  pleasant  evening  by  themselves  in  a  roomful  of  bridge  addicts.  But 
unlikely,  I  should  say,  and  of  course  kibitzing  is  very  dull  indeed.  The  desire 
of  the  majority  decides  the  evening,  but  non-participating  guests  should  be 
helped  by  the  hostess  to  do  something  they  enjoy— to  listen  to  the  radio, 
read  a  book  or  the  evening  papers,  play  chess,  or  take  a  walk  if  they  must 
stay  to  tlie  end. 

No  one  should  play  cards  against  his  own  real  desire  or  he  will  probably 
make  a  miserable  partner.  No  hostess  should  worry  about  a  guest  who  has 
named  his  preference  for  evening  entertainment.  I  once  had  a  non-bridge- 
playing  friend  who  spent  his  evening  with  me  in  the  kitchen  learning  how 
to  make  a  delicate  dessert  souffle,  while  his  wife  played  bridge  with  an 
interest  he  couldn't  even  feign. 

covers  for  bridge  tables  Bridge  tables  should  not  be  covered  during  play. 
The  surface  should  encourage  the  easy  deal  of  the  cards.  Two  packs  of 
unused  cards,  or  at  least  very  fresh  ones,  should  be  on  each  table,  with  a 
score  card  and  a  well-sharpened  pencil  with  an  eraser.  When  luncheon  or 
supper  is  to  be  served  on  the  tables,  the  tables  are  then  covered  with  square 
luncheon  cloths,  preferably  in  white  damask  or  linen  and  as  alike  as  possible. 

behavior  at  bridge  My  own  feeling  is  that  bridge  is  a  game  you  should  play 
well  or  not  at  all  if  the  others  are  skilled  players.  You  may  be  beautiful  and 
witty,  intelligent  and  glamorous,  but  if  you  sit  down  to  a  table  of  bridge 
with  only  a  faint  interest  in  and  a  hazier  understanding  of  the  game  itself 
you  make  yourself  worse  than  foolish.  Very  few  people  like  to  teach  the 
game  as  they  play.  So  if  bridge  is  played  much  in  your  circle,  go  to  a  pro- 
fessional teacher  and  learn  the  latest  methods.  Read  the  bridge  columns  in 
your  daily  paper,  and  study  a  good  book  of  modern  rules.  Don't  let  yourself 
be  persuaded  to  sit  in  at  a  serious  game  whose  progress  your  own  inept  play- 
ing will  only  hamper. 

Not  everyone,  by  any  means,  has  a  real  feeling  for  cards.  If  you  are  one 
of  those  that  no  amount  of  teaching  can  improve,  let  it  go.  You  will  not  be 
a  social  leper  if  you  prefer  to  sit  by  and  knit  or  read  while  the  others  really 
enjoy  themselves.  It  is  just  as  irritating  to  good  players  to  have  someone 
with  poor  card  sense  join  them  just  to  be  agreeable  as  it  is  to  an  excellent 
tennis  player  to  have  a  halfhearted  one  inflict  himself  on  a  game  of  doubles. 
You  can't  be  too  modest  about  your  card  playing.  Always  state  frankly 
whether  you  are  considered  a  good,  middling,  or  poor  player,  and  let  the 
others  decide  whether  to  risk  you.  They,  in  turn,  may  very  well  suggest  an- 
other game  in  which  you  may  be  more  skillful.  Certainly  if  you  are  to  play 
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PART   THREE      HOME   ENTERTAINING 

any  card  game  with  a  partner  for  stakes  you  are  honor  bound  to  explain 
your  card  status,  even  if  you  can  afford  to  lose. 

If  you  do  play  bridge,  be  attentive  to  your  partner's  signals  and  exercise 
judgment  in  taking  bids  away  from  him.  Even  if  you  are  dummy,  sit  by 
quietly  and  pay  attention  to  the  play.  Don't  carry  on  constant  chatter  with 
the  players  at  your  table  or  with  others  in  the  room  while  you  are  playing. 

Bridge  seems  to  breed  its  own  disagreeable  mannerisms— the  player  who 
"takes  all  night"  to  make  up  his  mind  which  card  to  play,  the  drummer-on- 
the-table,  the  slammer-down  of  the  trick-taking  card,  the  chair-teeterer,  the 
whooper  who  takes  loud  pleasure  in  the  opponent's  defeat  or  discomfort. 
Then  there  is  the  historian  who  does  an  autopsy  of  every  game,  mainly  to 
show  how  the  others  would  have  played  their  cards  had  they  been  he. 
Bridge  is  no  different  from  other  competitive  games  in  that  the  rules  of 
sportsmanship  are  the  same— play  quietly  as  well  as  you  can,  and  win  or 
lose  without  making  your  opponents  feel  uncomfortable. 

CARDS    FOR    MONEY 

A  host  or  hostess  planning  to  follow  dinner  with  poker  or  bridge  for  money 
should  say  so  when  he  or  she  issues  the  invitation.  If  a  certain  number  of 
players  are  actually  required  and  one  guest,  for  reasons  of  his  own,  prefers 
not  to  play  for  money  it  can  create  an  awkward  situation. 

Few  of  us  like  to  admit,  publicly,  that  we  can't  afford  to  gamble.  We 
don't  even  like  to  admit  that,  if  we  play,  a  certain  limit  must  be  placed  on 
the  stakes.  The  danger,  in  that  event,  is  always  that  as  the  heat  of  the  game 
gets  us  we  tend  to  permit  a  raising  of  the  stakes  with  a  possibly  ruinous 
result.  No  one  should  enter  any  game  of  chance  with  the  thought  that  he 
will  win.  He  should,  instead,  face  frankly  the  thought  that  he  has  an  excel- 
lent chance  to  lose,  and  he  must  predicate  his  refusal  or  acceptance  to  play 
on  that  premise. 

It  is  not  good  sportsmanship  to  agree  to  play  for  stakes  that  are 
possibly  perilous  to  you  and  then  be  unable  to  pay  off  to  the  winner  in  the 
necessary,  casual  manner.  Many  people  as  a  matter  of  principle  always  say, 
"We  don't  play  for  stakes,"  even  when  they  can  well  afford  to  lose.  If  you 
are  young  people  on  a  budget,  play  for  stakes,  if  you  enjoy  the  thrill,  only 
if  you  are  budgeted  for  the  losses.  Never  anticipate  the  possible  gains. 

the  pay-off  If  you  play  for  stakes,  be  prepared  to  pay  off  your  losses  then  and 
there,  preferably  in  cash.  If  you  get  beyond  your  depth  and  can't  meet  the 
obligation  at  the  game's  end,  tell  the  winner  when  he  may  expect  your  check 
in  full  settlement.  And  don't  make  it  necessary  for  him  to  remind  you  of  your 
obligation.  If  you  don't  pay  he  can't  go  to  law  about  the  debt  but  he  can 
ruin  your  reputation  for  decent  sportsmanship  so  that  others  will  be  warned 
not  to  play  for  stakes  with  you  again.  The  moral  is  always:  If  you  can't  afford 
to  lose,  don't  play  for  money. 

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CHAPTER   THIRTY-FIVE 

ENTERTAINING  OUT  OF  DOORS 


There  are  picnics  and  picnics.  There's  the  kind  you  may  see  at  South- 
ampton, with  dowagers  sitting  gingerly  under  beach  umbrellas,  the  food 
being  served  by  their  chauffeurs.  On  the  other  hand,  a  picnic  to  be  a  good 
one  does  not  necessarily  mean  that  sand  be  in  your  sandwich.  But  it  is  more 
fun  done  in  a  quite  informal,  albeit,  comfortable  style. 

The  picnic  on  your  own  grounds  probably  makes  use  of  a  barbecue.  The 
equipment  can  be  anything  from  a  simple  charcoal  burner  on  wheels  to  a 
handsome  barbecue  with  wrought-iron  grills,  an  oven  and  a  chimney  to 
blessedly  take  away  the  smoke.  Whatever  it  is,  so  long  as  it's  fire  you  can 
depend  on  the  men  to  enjoy  tending  it. 

With  outdoor  cooking  facilities  it  is  easy  and  pleasant  to  entertain  rela- 
tively large  groups  at  home.  But,  as  with  buffet,  it  is  important  to  have  a 
comfortable  place  for  guests  to  eat  the  food  so  appetizingly  prepared  within 
view.  A  round  table  is  very  friendly.  Sometimes  one  can  be  built  around  a 
tree  well  to  leeward  of  the  fire.  Or  a  long  pine  picnic  table  with  benches  is 
convenient.  An  old-fashioned  heavy  oak  or  walnut  round  table  with  exten- 
sion leaves  is  easily  found  at  a  secondhand  shop  and  rubbed  down,  painted, 
and  waterproofed  for  an  outdoors  picnic  table. 

The  adept-at-picnics  hostess  uses  colorful,  partitioned  plastic  picnic 
dishes  or  sturdy,  waterproofed  discardable  paper  plates,  also  partitioned. 
They  hold  food  safely  and  cut  down  table  clutter  by  making  it  possible  to 
put  meat,  vegetable,  and  salad  attractively  on  one  plate.  And  men,  I  think, 
are  more  comfortable  with  such  a  sturdy  plate— plus  a  place  to  put  it. 

While  the  old  stand-bys  of  hot  dogs  and  hamburgers  are  perfectly  accept- 
able at  a  picnic,  guests  are  usually  grateful,  especially  if  it's  a  picnic  supper, 
to  be  served  something  a  little  more  substantial  and  partyish.  There  is  noth- 
ing better,  of  course,  if  the  budget  permits,  than  charcoal-broiled  steak  and 
baked  or  fried  potatoes  (these  with  onions).  Charcoal-broiled  chicken  is 
another  favorite.  Spareribs,  southern  style,  may  be  prepared  outdoors  or  in 
the  kitchen.  Like  the  chicken,  they  should  be  eaten  "in  the  rough."  Finger 
food  including,  of  course,  corn-on-the-cob  is  most  enjoyable  at  picnics. 


PICNICS    AWAY    FROM    HOME 

Automobile  picnics— with  the  food  eaten  by  the  side  of  the  road  while  the 
party  is  en  route,  or  at  some  planned  destination  such  as  the  beach— require 

ag8 


PART  THREE      HOME  ENTERTAINING 

special  equipment.  The  confirmed  picnicker  usually  invests  in  a  hamper— 
the  basket  kind  is  light  and  long-lived— and  equips  it,  or  buys  it  equipped, 
with  picnic  "silver,"  plastic  or  aluminum  plates  and  cups,  a  vacuum  bottle 
or  so,  and  a  corkscrew  and  beer  opener.  Waterproofed  paper  bags  for  left- 
overs, paper  napkins,  and  such  are  a  wise  precaution  if  there  is  no  time  to 
burn  trash  and  then  to  see  the  fire  well  out. 

the  art  of  packing  a  picnic  hamper  It's  an  art  to  pack  a  picnic  hamper  with 
the  kind  of  food  that  makes  the  picnickers  glad  they  didn't  stay  home.  Cold 
fried  chicken  or  little  cold  veal  or  ham  pies,  English  style,  make  delicious 
out-of-hand  eating.  Chicken  or  potato  salad  in  a  glass  jar  combine  easily 
at  the  picnic  spot  with  crisp  lettuce  which  has  been  brought  separately  in 
a  damp  towel  and  like  the  other  foods  mentioned  are,  to  my  mind,  more 
palatable  than  a  much-traveled  sandwich.  There  are  all  sorts  of  good  things 
that  can  be  put  in  picnic  jugs  and  served  piping  hot  hours  later— spaghetti 
with  mushrooms  and  chicken  livers,  for  instance,  or  baked  beans  or  even 
thick  fish  chowder. 

If  you  are  going  to  a  distant  picnic  ground,  it  is  preferable  to  take  food  in 
vacuum  jugs  and  bottles  rather  than  to  light  a  fire,  unless  specific  camp 
sites  have  been  set  up  in  safe  places.  Or,  if  there  are  really  able  woodsmen 
in  your  party  who  can  manage  a  camp  fire  so  it  doesn't  smoke  up  the  guests 
and  ruin  the  food,  be  sure  every  spark  is  extinguished  with  water  or  loose 
dirt  before  you  leave.  And  obliterate  all  signs  of  your  presence  so  others 
may  enjoy  the  woods  or  beach  as  you  have. 

ALFRESCO    MEALS 

Eating  outdoors  in  pleasant  weather  is  a  delightful  and  relaxing  thing  and, 
of  course,  needn't  resemble  a  picnic  in  the  least.  Alfresco  meals  are  merely 
less  formal,  even  when  they  are  served,  with  fewer  courses  and  those  sub- 
stantial ones.  A  luncheon  in  the  garden,  with  no  picnic  atmosphere  at  all, 
would  be  set  out  under  the  trees  or  on  the  terrace  table  on  colorful  mats  or  a 
luncheon  cloth,  with  matching  napkins.  A  first  course  of  tomato  juice  or 
vegetable  juice  cocktail  might  be  passed  with  crisp  crackers  before  the 
guests  are  seated.  Already  arranged  salads  of  chicken  or  lobster  and  tall 
glasses  of  iced  tea  could  be  in  place  before  the  guests  take  their  places. 
The  hostess  or  a  servant  clears  this  main  course— perhaps  onto  a  rolling  tea 
table— and  the  dessert  is  served  and  passed  by  the  hostess.  Even  where 
service  is  available,  host  and  hostess  function  informally  in  serving  their 
guests  and  servants  are  not  kept  constantly  in  attendance  to  spoil  the  rural 
effect. 


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CHAPTER    THIRTY-SIX 

HOSTS  AND  GUESTS 

ARRIVALS    AND  DEPARTURES 

The  street  door  is  opened  to  guests  by  butler,  houseman,  or  maid,  or  by  some 
designated  member  of  the  family.  At  a  dinner  party,  for  example,  in  a  one- 
servant  family  it  is  unlikely  that  the  servant  can  attend  the  door  as  well  as 
serve  and  prepare  the  meal. 

Whoever  opens  the  door  takes  the  guest's  coat  and  hat  and  leads  the  way 
to  the  living  room,  stepping  back  to  let  him  enter.  The  hostess  excuses 
herself  to  any  guests  she  may  be  with,  rises,  and  comes  forward  to  greet 
the  guest,  man  or  woman.  The  host  comes  forward,  too,  and  both  host  and 
hostess  shake  hands  with  the  newcomer.  This  same  little  ceremony  is  re- 
peated when  the  guest  departs. 

Often  there  is  an  awkward  pause  in  conversation  when  a  new  person  is 
introduced  into  the  group.  Large-scale  introductions  in  which  the  possibly 
already  somewhat  self-conscious  stranger  is  introduced  to  many  people  all 
at  once,  and  vice  versa,  should  be  avoided.  Instead,  when  there  are  more 
than  five  or  six  present,  introduce  the  new  guests  only  to  those  in  his  imme- 
diate vicinity,  after  host  or  hostess  have  greeted  him.  From  there  on  as  he 
moves  about  he  introduces  himself  to  those  he  hasn't  yet  met,  or  someone 
to  whom  he's  been  talking  takes  him  in  hand  and  presents  him  to  others 
he  may  find  congenial. 

seeing  the  guest  off  Whether  a  servant  or  the  host  or  some  other  member  of 
family  sees  a  guest  to  the  door,  the  door  is  never  closed  until  the  guest  is 
actually  underway,  on  foot  or  by  car.  In  apartment  houses  a  servant  or  the 
host  summons  the  elevator  and  waits  until  the  guest  has  entered  it  before 
closing  the  apartment  door.  If  a  taxi  is  needed,  host  or  servant  phones  the 
doorman  as  the  guest  prepares  to  go  or  asks  the  elevator  operator  to  see 
that  the  guest  is  taken  care  of. 


WHERE    THERE    IS    NO    HOST 

A  single  woman  entertaining  alone  without  servants  delegates  the  role  of 
host  to  some  male  guest— a  relative  or  close  friend— at  a  party,  or  if  it  is  a 
party  of  women  and  there  is  no  servant  to  greet  guests  at  the  door  a  friend 

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PART  THREE      HOME  ENTERTAINING 

may  be  asked  to  do  so,  so  that  the  hostess  will  not  have  to  leave  her  guests 
every  few  minutes  at  a  large  party  to  go  to  the  door.  The  friend,  if  he  or  she 
doesn't  know  the  guest,  introduces  him  or  herself  and  leads  the  way  to  the 
living  room.  Or  if  many  guests  are  arriving  all  at  once,  the  person  at  the 
door  indicates  where  coats  are  to  be  left  and  guests,  when  ready,  find  their 
own  way  to  the  living  room  and  greet  the  hostess  before  joining  any  friends 
who  may  be  present. 


SHOULD  A  GUEST  RE  CALLED  FOR? 

If  a  guest  is  coming  for  a  visit  to  the  country  and  the  hostess  knows  the 
time  of  his  expected  arrival  but  has  said  nothing  about  meeting  the  train 
or  bus,  then  the  guest  is  expected  to  get  to  the  hostess'  home  by  any  avail- 
able public  transportation.  The  guest  does  not  phone  and  ask  to  be  met 
unless  some  transportation  breakdown  or  great  delay  has  occurred. 

A  guest,  already  resident  in  the  country  where  transportation  is  necessarily 
by  car,  doesn't  ask  to  be  called  for  unless  every  conceivable  way  of  getting 
himself  to  the  hostess'  house  has  failed.  If  transportation  is  really  a  difficulty, 
the  matter  should  be  mentioned  at  the  time  the  invitation  is  tendered,  and 
the  hostess  may  then  suggest  that  the  guest  be  picked  up,  either  by  someone 
else  coming  by  or  by  the  hostess'  own  car.  Or  she  has  the  opportunity  of 
withdrawing  the  invitation  under  the  circumstances.  Certainly  the  guest  who 
must  be  picked  up  and  returned  by  the  hostess  must  be  very  attractive 
indeed  to  justify  the  inconvenience,  if  it  really  is  one. 


ACTING    HOST    FOR    A   RACHELOR    GniL 

The  man,  other  than  a  relative,  who  is  asked  to  take  on  some  of  the  responsi- 
bilities of  host  at  the  home  of  an  eligible  woman  may  open  the  door  to 
guests  and  see  them  off,  fetch  chairs,  mix  drinks,  help  serve,  and  clear 
dishes  where  there  are  no  servants  and,  in  general,  help  make  the  guests 
comfortable.  If  he  does  seem  very  much  an  intimate  of  the  household  in 
this  way,  there  is,  possibly,  some  speculation  concerning  his  exact  relation- 
ship to  the  hostess.  To  allay  such  speculation,  a  bachelor  girl  may  designate 
more  than  one  "acting  host"  from  among  her  men  friends.  But  if  only  one 
serves,  he  is  careful  to  leave  with  the  last  guest  if  it  is  late  in  the  evening. 
Even  if  the  relationship  between  "host"  and  hostess  is  quite  intimate,  a 
gentleman  must  always  go  to  elaborate  lengths  to